Energy saving lightbulb attack rebuffed

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The government has rebuffed an attack on the compulsory use of energy saving lightbulbs – rejecting claims that partially sighted people will suffer when the legislation is introduced.

Peers claimed the energy-efficient bulbs did not provide enough light to read by.

But environment minister Lord Hunt said there were halogen lookalike bulbs available which provided more light.

He also rebuked claims that low energy bulbs – which use the toxic element mercury – could potentially damage the environment.

Lord Hunt told the BBC: "Incandescent light bulbs waste 95 per cent of the energy they use as heat."

"Phasing these out and replacing them with efficient alternatives can help reduce emissions and energy bills," he added.

When the fate of traditional halogen bulbs was sealed, many high street retailers reported a substantial jump in sales of 100-watt varieties.

The bulbs are expected to be scrapped altogether by September 2012 – pending an EU vote on the issue.

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