High-powered lightbulbs to be switched off

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Plans have been announced to phase out all non-energy efficient lightbulbs used and sold in the UK by 2011.

Environment minister Hilary Benn revealed the plans, which include a call for retailers to voluntarily stop selling the high power bulbs in the new year, at Labour's conference in Bournemouth.

It is hoped that the initiative will eventually save around 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Discussing the new guidelines, Mr Benn said "I am delighted that major companies have said they are prepared to help deliver this ambitious timetable and offer products which will help their own customers play their part in combating climate change.

"I want to see more retailers, manufacturers and service providers taking action to phase out the least efficient products from their ranges."

The Co-operative has become one of the first retailers to announce their support for the initiative.

Supermarkets in the chain are expected to stop selling traditional bulbs by 2010, while there are also plans for the company to provide a broader range of energy efficient lighting.

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