In a poll by UFH, a Vienna-based firm that disposes of used electronic devices, 64 per cent of Austrians said the new EU guideline phasing out classic light bulbs that will enter into force on 1 September was nonsensical.
Lack of information
Helmut Kolba, the head of UFH, added yesterday 60.4 per cent of respondents had said they were poorly informed about energy-saving bulbs while 43 per cent said the new bulbs lacked variety in terms of size and design and 45.1 per cent that they lacked variety in terms of light-tone.
The poll showed 4.8 per cent used new energy-saving bulbs exclusively, 34 per cent used them for a quarter of their lighting needs, 18.1 per cent used them for half of their lighting needs, and 24 per cent rejected them entirely.
Just over half of respondents - 53.6 per cent - said they feared the breaking of one of the new bulbs could threaten their health because of mercury contamination. But Kolba said an old-fashioned thermometer had a much higher mercury content than one of the new bulbs.
Just under a fifth of respondents or 19.2 per cent believe the new bulbs interfere with electric current, and 18.2 believe the light they emit is dangerous.
Only 36.2 per cent said they supported EU guideline 244/2009, which will prohibit the production and import of less energy efficient light bulbs by 2012.
From 1 September, it will be illegal to import conventional pearl or frosted bulbs of any shape or wattage. Traditional incandescent bulbs of 100 watts will also be banned under the new guideline aimed at reducing energy use and carbon-dioxide emissions.
They will be replaced by energy-saving lights, which usually use fluorescent tubes, but it is thought some consumers will still prefer traditional bulbs, particularly for reading lamps.
Old bulbs hoarded
There is evidence of people hoarding the old fashioned bulbs around Europe, and enforcement agencies are ready to crack down on unscrupulous businessmen who continue to import the "illegal bulbs" from factories in China.
The Austrian Energy Agency announced yesterday that there were signifi- cant differences in the quality of lamps on offer. The body said that an overview of tests of them is available on www.topprodukte.at