Minister rejects call for bulb ban exemption

Energy minister Greg Barker has rejected a call for the UK to be exempted from the European Union’s ban on incandescent lamps.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Conservative MP David Nuttall said that the UK should push for a ‘complete exemption’ from the rules that have phased out incandescent lamps, as part of a renegotiation of its membership of the EU.

Nuttall said the UK should be given back ‘the right to be able to use whatever light bulbs we want – without being told what to do by the EU’.

But Barker defended the ban, saying: ‘By having energy-efficient light bulbs, we are driving innovation and driving down people’s electricity bills. We do not want to go back to having high-cost energy bills and turning our back on innovation.’

Labour MP Sheila Gilmore also asked whether people with ‘photosensitive health conditions’ might be allowed to continue to use incandescent lamps.

Barker said: ‘The UK is sympathetic to concerns raised about the potential health impacts of lighting… and will press the European Commission to take this into account in the upcoming review.’

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