Abu Dhabi: A ban on sale of inefficient bulbs in the UAE will help save Dh668 million per year on energy bills and carbon emissions — the equivalent to removing 165,000 cars off the road per year, authorities said yesterday.

The ban, part of an indoor lighting standard in the UAE, will come into effect on July 1, senior officials announced at a press conference on Monday in Abu Dhabi. The official nixing of energy-depleting bulbs will mainly be on incandescent versions of lighting which have to be replaced by CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps), Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and halogens.

After July 1, all bulbs have to meet the new standard based on environment, safety and efficiency criteria.

There is no restriction on using existing low-standard bulbs, whose life is almost one year. An estimated 85 million lamps are in use in the UAE, of which 78 per cent about 63 million — are low-standard ones.

To implement the new standard, the UAE will need about Dh732 million in investments on energy-efficient lamps, which will be paid back within 13 months through savings on energy bills. Although households have to spend more money on efficient lamps initially, it will benefit them by all means in the long run, the officials said.

Of Dh668 million annual savings on power bills, approximately Dh452 million will be saved by households, especially in emirates with higher tariff rates. The remaining Dh216 million will be saved by the government through reduced subsidies.

It is estimated that an average villa in Dubai will save approximately Dh2,315 per year by changing its lights to energy-efficient products.

The ban will specifically target imports as there is no domestic production of lighting products at the moment.

The new standard will help reduce 940,000 CO2 emissions per year. Households contribute to 71 per cent of carbon emissions, of which 11 per cent comes from inefficient lamps.

“The new lighting standard will reduce the country’s energy consumption by 340-500MW per year, which is equivalent to not using an average gas power station for six months,” said Rashid Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water.

This important achievement came as a result of the strong collaboration of all partners of the Ecological Footprint Initiative, Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), said.

The UAE Ecological Footprint Initiative is a public-private partnership, working to develop science-based policy recommendations to help reduce the UAE’s carbon emissions and per capita Ecological Footprint. The UAE has a high ecological footprint, which means a lot of resources such as energy, water, and goods are wasted. The Ministry of Environment and Water, the EAD, Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wildlife Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF), the Global Footprint Network, and Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) are partners in this initiative.

Esma has framed the technical specifications of the standard for lighting products, which will be applicable to CFLs, LEDs and halogens as well, a senior official told Gulf News on the sidelines of the press conference.

“One of the criteria is restriction on hazardous elements like mercury in lamps. If the level of mercury exceeds the permitted level in CFLs, LEDs and halogens, they will not get entry to the country,” Engineer Mohammad Saleh Badri, Director-General of Esma, said.

He said Esma has a plan to dispose of electric lamps in coordination with local authorities.