British Gas gives green light to UK's largest ever energy saving light bulb initiative

52 million energy saving light bulbs to be sent to customers in bid to save around nine million tonnes of CO2

  • Initiative is biggest ever in UK and could save around nine million tonnes of CO2.
  • Customers to get four energy efficient light bulbs each, along with energy saving tips.

British Gas has announced that it is to distribute 52 million energy saving light bulbs to its customers.  The initiative will be the largest of its kind ever seen in the UK and could result in customers reducing their carbon emissions by around nine million tonnes. 

Throughout this year, each of the 13 million households served by British Gas will receive four free energy saving light bulbs in the post. The company, which has the lowest carbon intensity for the electricity it provides of all the six major UK energy suppliers, hopes that the initiative will help overcome consumer inertia and kick-start the mass switch away from standard incandescent light bulbs.

Energy saving light bulbs have an average life expectancy of 10,000 hours, compared to incandescent bulbs that last for an average of 750 hours.  Overall, domestic energy use accounts for 30.2 per cent[1] of total UK CO2 emissions, whilst lighting itself accounts for 15 per cent of the domestic carbon footprint[2].  Therefore, the 52 million energy saving light bulbs will make a significant contribution to reducing the CO2 impact of domestic lighting.      

A major advertising campaign, comprising TV, radio, print and outdoor, will highlight the benefit of swapping traditional incandescent bulbs for energy saving light bulbs.

Gearóid Lane, director of British Gas New Energy, said:

"Switching to energy saving light bulbs is a small step but one which can make a big difference.  We know that our customers want to reduce their carbon footprint and also save money.  Through our distribution of 52 million energy saving light bulbs, we will be providing them with an opportunity to do both.  And as the largest energy retailer in the UK, we are the only company able to deliver an initiative on this scale."

Unlike other energy saving light bulb initiatives, customers will not need to spend time redeeming coupons.  The new bulbs will simply be posted to them directly from May onwards and will be accompanied by energy saving hints and tips.

Just one four-pack of energy saving light bulbs could reduce CO2 emissions by 62.6kg a year and save customers £17[3] each. On average these light bulbs last 10 times longer than the standard variety.