And this makes sense?
Twelve million low-energy light bulbs were posted to households over Christmas by an energy company as part of its legal obligation to cut carbon emissions. Npower sent out the packages last month to escape a ban on issuing unsolicited bulbs, which came into force yesterday. The German-owned company saved millions of pounds by giving away the bulbs.
It faced a fine of more than £40 million, or 10 per cent of its turnover, if it failed to meet its target for improving efficiency in homes under the carbon emissions reduction target scheme.
Companies were allowed to register immediate carbon savings from every bulb issued on the assumption that all recipients instantly installed them in some of their most intensively used light sockets.
Each low-energy bulb costs an energy company £2.97 and saves 0.04 tonnes of carbon over its lifetime. Companies can pass on all the costs of the scheme to their customers. Over three years it is expected to add more than £100 to the average household’s energy bills.
A spokeswoman for the energy company admitted that Npower did not know how many of the bulbs would be used. “There is nothing under [the carbon emissions reduction target scheme] that means we have to get evidence that bulbs are being used. It’s up to the customer,” she said.