Brownlee turns the old lights back on

Incandescent light bulbs have been reprieved.

Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee told Parliament yesterday he would not be going ahead with the previous Labour-led Government's plan to phase them out.

He said he was "lifting the ban" on traditional light bulbs, but Labour MPs said there had never been a ban and the intention had been to gradually replace them with new energy-efficient bulbs.

Mr Brownlee said the Government had "real concerns about telling people they have to move to energy-efficient light bulbs by decree.

"We are committed to energy efficiency in the home, and efficient lighting has an important role to play in helping us reduce the amount of energy we use.

"But this Government believes it is a matter of consumer choice."

Mr Brownlee said people needed good, credible information about different lighting options. Then they could decide for themselves what they wanted.

"Lifting the previous Government's ban on incandescent light bulbs simply means we are allowing their continued sale and I am confident the consumer trend to energy-efficient bulbs will continue," he said.

National used the light bulb issue during the election campaign as an example of Labour's "nanny state" mentality.

- NZPA

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