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How many Brits does it take to change a light bulb?

bulbAnswer: About 11.37 million, according to

Here’s what they reckon – British households could save more than £2.5 million and reduce the nation’s CO2 contribution by 12,800 tonnes – in just one day – when the clocks go back on Sunday, 28 October, 2007. That’s enough C02 saved to fill 1,422 hot air balloons.

The 47% of Brits who have yet to replace their light bulbs with low-energy alternatives simply need to take action in advance before the end of British Summer Time, when they will turn their lights on one hour earlier.

Energy expert Stewart Grew from, says: “If you changed eight ordinary 100w bulbs to the equivalent 18w low-energy bulb, and they were turned on for 4 hours a day, you would reduce your electricity bill by £102.48 per year and your CO2 contribution by 412kgs, nearly half a tonne.

“The new bulbs would have paid for themselves in less than five months, and they’d still last for another 15,000 hours.

“Even if you don’t believe climate change is real, why would you not want to save money?  A simple change can make a massive difference, for your finances and the planet.” calculates that if we changed every ordinary GLS bulb across the nation to a low-energy bulb, we could save £1.5 billion annually and reduce our CO2 emissions by more than 7.6 million tonnes.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, if every household installed just one energy-saving light bulb, the electricity saved in a year could power the Blackpool Illuminations for nearly 900 years, and there would be enough carbon dioxide saved to fill the Royal Albert Hall 1,980 times.


  • Lee
    Posted November 4, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    What are you talking about? 1.9 million hectares is nowhere near 32% of the UK’s arable land. By my calculations, 1.9 million hectares is more like 10%.

  • Ciaran
    Posted October 19, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Let’s not forget that biofuels – whislt in theory a good thing – could do more harm than good.

    Research last month (reported in The Times, found that biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize caused 70 per cent and 50 per cent more emissions respectively than fossil fuels.

    Releases of one gas in particular, nitrous oxide, were double the level previously thought. Nitrous oxide is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

    Rapeseed is the main biofuel crop in Europe and in the US, the main ethanol crop is maize. The US Senate wants to increase maize ethanol production by sevenfold by 2022 which will cause greenhouse gas emissions from transport in America to jump by six per cent.

    Elsewhere, the EU has set a target of replacing 5.75% of fossil fuel-based transport fuels with biofuels. Calculations based on current average yields suggest that if this was to be met in the UK from domestically produced oilseed rape and wheat for biodiesel and bioethanol respectively, approximately 1.9 million hectares would be required.

    That’s 32% of the UK’s arable land! On top of which, we still need land to produce our food.

    Unless, that is, we decide to import more – which sort of negates the purpose of biofuels trying to reduce CO2 emissions in the first place…

    So perhaps this decision to cut subsidies may be a blessing?

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