New light shed on inefficient bulbs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2008, 12:00am

A study has found that only 6 per cent of lighting in shops is energy efficient.

The study, carried out by the activist group Green Sense in November, surveyed 985 shops in three shopping malls in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Kwai Chung, finding that about 16,600 spotlights and 1,200 energy efficient light bulbs were in place. On average, 20 spotlights are used in a shop. But one trader had put up 81 to appeal to customers. The group said the energy consumed by these lights was equivalent to that for four air-conditioners.

Green Sense said that inefficient light bulbs not only added to electricity bills, but also generated heat that was distributed throughout shopping malls. This resulted in extra energy being used for cooling, accelerating global warming.

The group said the low use of energy-saving light bulbs meant Hong Kong was not doing enough to counter global warming.

In an experiment with one shop owner who installed 31 quartz spotlights, electricity charges were cut by HK$378 and the temperature in the area around the lighting was reduced by 5 degrees Celsius.

The group said that although the cost of switching to energy-efficient lighting could run to several thousand dollars, such costs could be recouped within 12 to 21 months through lower energy consumption.