Incandescent interference from the feds

The Vancouver Sun clarifies some of the terms of the federal “ban” on incandescent lightbulbs.

“It’s not a ban,” said federal spokeswoman Katherine Delves. “It’s the announcement of the development of a national performance-based standard to be put in place.”

The federal government’s plan means a phase-out of inefficient light bulbs by 2012 to save energy and help slash greenhouse gas emissions.

Although this probably means the long-lasting and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulb will replace energy-sucking incandescent bulbs, there may be life yet for the lights we know and love.

“This does not limit innovation for existing technologies,” said Delves.

The new standards, to be developed in consultation with the industry and the public, “would not be technology-based, but performance based.”

If you’re going to do this kind of thing, assuming you’re not in a position to remake an entire multibillion-dollar industry to realign its economic incentives, this is a reasonably sensible approach — ban the inefficiency, not the technology itself.

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