According to a report in the Financial Times, the gradual phasing out of incandescent lightbulbs in favour of more energy efficient bulbs has seen households in the UK dramatically reduce their energy consumption.
Newer more efficient bulbs consume just 20% as much as older models and are one of the main reasons domestic electricity consumption fell by 5% between 2008 and 2012.
Lower consumption = lower bills
The Energy Saving Trust, an organisation focused on achieving energy efficiency, has stated that the UK could save close to £1.4bn if all households replaced their old light bulbs with new energy efficient models.
Even more savings could be made if the UK switched to light-emitting diode or LED bulbs. The latter have long been used in brake lights but can now be used to light up homes. LED bulbs last longer, use very little electricity and give off more light than other types of bulbs.
In addition, although many households have gone for newer bulbs, a number of local councils have yet to make the same changes to street lights. Street lighting costs the UK around £300m every year, a figure which could be significantly reduced if new bulbs were universally adopted. At present only one in seven street lights is equipped with an energy efficient bulb.
UK still lagging behind the rest of Europe
Despite the wider adoption of energy efficient light bulbs, UK households currently consume 13% more electricity than the average European household. The gap is particularly large between British and German households, as the latter consume 36% less energy.
As a result although electricity is about 50% more expensive in Germany, a typical bill is only 10% more expensive.