Lights Out in Ontario
TORONTO -- The Canadian province of Ontario will ban the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2012 as part of a broader effort to cut energy use, provincial officials said on Wednesday.
Replacing all 87 million incandescent bulbs in Ontario households with more efficient lighting, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, would cut electricity demand by 6 million megawatt hours annually -- enough to power 600,000 homes, the provincial government said.
Compact fluorescent bulbs use about 75 percent less electricity than old-style incandescents.
From now on, the Ontario government will only purchase energy efficient bulbs for its own buildings, it said. "This action alone represents a huge step forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- it's the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road," Environment Minister Laurel Broten said.
The province also announced a number of energy-saving initiatives for the summer, including offering coupons for compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy-saving devices, as well as a 10 percent rebate on electricity bills to consumers who cut power use by 10 percent.
The move by Ontario, Canada's most populous province, follows the lead of Australia, which became the first country in the world to announce it would ban incandescent bulbs, by 2010, as a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
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