Britain's got an energy saving bulb mountain
Put your hand up if you’ve had one of those cards from your postman, telling you that he had a package that wouldn’t fit through your letterbox and has bunged it off to the local delivery office.
Now put your other hand up if you’ve subsequently made the trek to the aforementioned delivery office only to find that the package in question is a free energy-saving lightbulb, sent to you as a special treat by your energy supplier. Hmm, a few hands in the air we see (we don’t really – that would be impossible… or would it?)
It’s a deeply frustrating event and one that is responsible for two in every five cases of self-elbow-chewing in the UK (or so we imagine). You should try not to focus on the time and energy expended in getting to the delivery office and back though – you’ve just got a free lightbulb.
Unfortunately though, it seems that most of us don’t actually use the sodding things, and research by the Energy Saving Trust suggests that 60 percent of the 224 million energy-saving bulbs dispatched over the past two years haven’t been used yet.
The deluge of unwanted bulbs was at its worst at the end of last year – new Ofgem rules state that from January 1st, bulbs can only be sent out to householders who have requested them.
But it seems that the bombardment of bulbs is nothing more than an exploitation of the regulations as energy companies try to get away with the cheapest and easiest methods of being seen to be saving energy.
Although they’ve sent out 224 million energy saving bulbs, government target figures for the period stood at just 110 million. Meanwhile, targets for domestic cavity wall insulation installations were 2.9 million homes – according to Ofgem, less than one million homes have been done to date.
Energy suppliers – screwing their customers in increasingly imaginative array of ways. It’s almost admirable if it didn’t suck so hard.