Energy Safety, the governmental agency charged (oops) with ensuring the safe supply and use of electricity and gas, has warned the Fire Service about the potential hazard of eco bulbs (compact fluorescent lamps). Eco bulbs are reported to be “melting, blowing up and blackening surrounding electrical equipment.”
This comes a couple of months after the Minister of Energy (along with the Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Jeanette Fitzsimons) announced that new energy efficiency standards would lead to traditional incandescent bulbs being phased out from late next year. The move is part of the Efficient Lighting Strategy. NZers could save an estimated almost $500 million of the $660 million spent on lighting electricity annually.
It’s not clear from the DomPost’s report whether there has been a sudden upsurge in reports of problems with the eco bulbs. Energy Safety says it has received 13 complaints about eco bulbs in the past fortnight. However, a spokesperson for the Minieter said the agency had received no reports of “serious problems” and a spokeperson for the Fire Service says, “We do not know if there is a manufacturing fault, a user fault or a dud batch…”
In other words, we need to know more before we start drawing conclusions.
Well, not all of us. Egged on by David Farrar — “… they may burn your house down!” — the kiwiblog right greeted this news as more evidence of a big brother conspiracy to foist dangerous and user-unfriendly light fittings on the unsuspecting citizenry, presumably for the sheer hell of it since eco bulbs don’t save energy anyway.
Never mind that the Efficient Lighting Strategy was developed in partnership between the lighting industry, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and the Electricity Commission. What would they know!