The European Union regulates the use of toxic materials including mercury through its Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which includes exemptions for certain mercury-based lighting products. In June 2021, the Commission published draft initiatives to eliminate these exemptions for mercury in certain lighting products by 2023.
CLASP revisited data from a 2020 Oeko-Institut analysis to update the potential savings under the later phase-out date, and to calculate the costs of this ongoing delay at the country-level. We looked at the financial, environmental and health impacts of a two-year delay (to July 2023)—finding significant costs to European citizens in terms of excess energy use, increased pollution and higher cost to consumers.
With two-year of regulatory delay to July 2023, Europe loses €12.23 billion in cost savings due to excess energy use and adds 1056 kg to its mercury pollution burden. As the delay lengthens, the cost goes up.
- Excess energy use: 120 TWh of lost electricity savings, or about equal to the annual electricity consumption of the Netherlands
- Financial cost: €12.23 billion savings lost over two years; €487 million savings lost per month; €16.2 million savings lost per day
- Increased pollution: 1056 kg of additional mercury pollution from lamps over two years
CLASP further analysed the country and individual-level cost of the continued use of inefficient, mercury-based lighting in terms of cost, continued mercury pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, and excel electricity use. We found that the four largest economies – Germany, Italy, France and Spain represent 77% of the lost savings and 63% of the lost mercury savings.
You may like this additional Climate research
Air Conditioner Labeling in Thailand: Key Findings and Recommendations
This Policy Brief presents findings from an evaluation of the Electricity Generation Authority for Thailand (EGAT) No. 5 air conditioning (AC) energy label and provides recommendations to enhance the labels' impact in driving the transition to higher-efficient products.
Study to Evaluate Online Energy Labelling Compliance in the EU
E-commerce is steadily growing in the EU, and numerous websites offer energy-using products for sale. In this study, CLASP and our partners assessed the proper display of appliance energy labels and related information on websites. The study covers six EU Member States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, and Slovakia.
3H Hybrid Heat Homes: An Incentive Program to Electrify Space Heating and Reduce Energy Bills in American Homes
This report proposes a low-barrier, least-cost policy package to rapidly deploy efficient space heating and cooling solutions in the United States. It aims to “raise the floor” for electric space heating in the residential HVAC market, delivering 45 million new installations over 10 years and paving the way for more ambitious decarbonization efforts.
Unraveling Urban Household Energy Use Patterns in India
CLASP published a research paper in the ACEEE 2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in India. The paper reviews first-of-its-kind nationwide research, carried out in 2018, that encompassed an urban residential end-use survey of 5,000 households and real-time appliance energy use monitoring of 200 households.
Medical Equipment and Clinic Electrification Report
This report from Efficiency for Access presents a preliminary assessment of technical and commercial barriers to large-scale deployment of medical equipment in off/weak-grid clinics, along with actionable recommendations to make progress against these barriers.
Revising the Brazilian Labeling Program for Refrigerators: Lessons from the European Union and Thailand
Brazil's INMETRO is currently considering modifications to the National Label for Energy Conservation (ENCE) for refrigerators. CLASP studies the experiences of the European Union (EU) and Thailand in including additional labeling categories and provides key insights.
Development of Efficiency Policy for Ultra High Definition Televisions in India
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and CLASP worked with Environmental Design Solutions (EDS) to make a comprehensive assessment of the Indian UHD television market through primary and secondary research to formulate a comparative energy efficiency labeling standard for UHD televisions.