Firms aim to rid Asian market of shoddy energy-saving lights

June 6th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, June 6 (DPA) World’s three largest lighting companies Friday launched a plan to rid the Asian market of shoddy energy-saving lights called compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), which cast a poor light on the $7-billion industry. Philips, OSRAM and General Electric signed a pact to establish standards for the lights on the sidelines of an Asia Clean EnergyForum at the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank.

Under the agreement, lighting suppliers in Asia would develop performance levels to rate CFL quality, a system for product marking and a regional database so consumers could identify which CFLs meet quality standards, the bank said.

“Half of the CFLs in Asia are substandard - producing less light or burning out more quickly than advertised - so establishing performance standards is vital for the continued growth of CFLs, which have potential sales of 7 billion dollars annually in Asia,” the bank said in a statement.

“Consumer dissatisfaction with shoddy CFLs is threatening the energy-saving lamps’ spectacular growth in Asia,” it added.

The agreement was co-signed by lighting companies Zhongshan Opple Lighting of China and Energy Mad of New Zealand; lighting councils from Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia; the US Agency for International Development (USAID); and non-government organizations.

“Having a common quality system is essential to ensure long-term consumer satisfaction and to strengthen the market for these energy-saving lamps,” said Orestes Anastacia, regional environment adviser for USAID.

The bank said the new Asian system would be compatible with existing quality certification systems, such as the Efficient Lighting Initiative and Britain’s Energy Saving Trust, both used by the Australian government.

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