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Australia and NZ seek industry ideas for new lighting regulations

Driving new regulations: Australia and New Zealand want you to help write new energy and environmental regulations for fluorescent and other lighting, which could affect installations such as the fluorescents in this Melbourne car park.

The Australian and New Zealand governments are getting ready to rewrite the energy regulations for fluorescent lighting, and are asking the industry and the public for their input.

They are considering everything from ‘no action’ to more stringent energy requirements for lamps and ballasts, and greater control over mercury levels (see list below), according to David Boughey, an Energy Division manager in Australia’s Department of Industry and Science.

‘The Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3) Committee is seeking views and dialogue with industry, consumers and other stakeholders to assist in addressing information gaps to ensure that any further regulatory proposals and cost-benefit modeling facilitates informed decision-making,’ Boughey said in an email to Lux.

Australia expects to hold public consultations in September in Sydney, Auckland, Brisbane and Melbourne, alongside a separate track to consider LED lighting.

The fluorescent rule-making applies to ‘linear, circular, u-shaped and non-integrated compact (fluorescent) lamps’ as well as to ‘ballastsballasts for fluorescent lamps, and basic commercial luminaires (troffers, battens and CFL cans)’ , according to a government website

Australia and New Zealand launched a separate process for stakeholder comment on integrated compact fluorescent lamps last November, which in Australia also included incandescent lamps including halogens.

According to Boughey, possible policy options include:

  • No action;
  • Update Australian and New Zealand test standards for fluorescent lamps and ballasts to recent International Electrotechnical Commission standards;
  • Increase MEPS (minimum energy performance standards) levels for linear fluorescent lamps or harmonise with international standards in 2-3 years
  • Introduce a MEPS for circular fluorescent lamps  in the next two to three years;
  • Reduce mercury content in lamps to meet international requirements;
  • Harmonise Australia and New Zealand MEPS for ballasts by increasing Australian MEPS requirements;
  • Align with European stage 3 requirements for ballasts in 2-3 years;
  • Introduce a voluntary or mandatory MEPS for commercial luminaires;
  • Product labeling and education initiatives.

Photo is from Angular via Flickr