New Partnership to Push for Energy-Efficient Lighting Across Asia

Higher Quality Lighting to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Millions of Tons

Oct 29, 2009, 09:01 ET from Asia Lighting Compact

HONG KONG, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The Asia Lighting Compact (ALC), a partnership comprising governments, regional lighting associations and the world's largest lighting manufacturers, was launched today in Hong Kong to support the widespread adoption of high-quality, energy efficient lighting in Asia.

The immediate focus of the ALC will be on improving the quality of energy- saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) manufactured and sold in Asia. Initial estimates indicate that a transition to higher-quality CFLs could result in substantial reductions in regional energy consumption and reduce Asia's overall carbon emissions by at least 2.4 million metric tons a year. This is the equivalent of planting nearly 300,000 hectares of trees or removing nearly 450,000 cars from the roads. The reduction in energy consumption would yield enough electricity to light 2.8 million homes for a year.

Over 50 lighting industry leaders and government representatives attended the launch, which was held at the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair. The event was opened by the Acting U.S. Consul-General in Hong Kong, Christopher J. Marut.

"This initiative comes at exactly the right time, when governments around the world are trying to find ways to address climate change and Asian countries in particular are concerned about energy security," said Jesus M. Pineda, Jr., President of the Philippine Lighting Industry Association. "The Asia Lighting Compact can help Asian governments reach their energy and climate goals while also protecting consumers."

In 2007, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published a landmark report that indicated that as many as half of the CFLs sold in Asia were substandard -- producing less light or burning out faster than advertised or required by national regulations. These substandard lamps not only fail to save as much energy as advertised, but they also reduce consumers' confidence in CFLs and energy-saving products in general.

To address this problem, the ALC has set up the Asia Quality Registry, an online system that allows lighting manufacturers and suppliers to register their quality products. CFLs that qualify for the Registry will be ranked on a three-tier scale based on international quality standards, and will be accessible to buyers of CFLs from around the region.

"The ALC's efforts to harmonize standards can help to lower production and qualification costs for suppliers of quality products," said Gao Ming, Lighting Technology Manager for GE Asia. "At the same time, buyers and consumers can be assured that these products meet international standards."

The ALC resulted from an agreement in July 2008 by lighting companies, manufacturers, lighting councils and associations to develop a quality system for CFLs in Asia. Participants in that agreement, along with partners in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (which includes Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, and the United States), supported the establishment of the ALC as an independent, non-profit organization to implement this quality system.

"It is very important that the ALC is a public-private partnership right from the start," Shyam Sujan, Secretary General of the Electric Lamp Component Manufacturers' Association of India (ELCOMA). "It shows how serious lighting manufacturers, lighting associations and governments in Asia are about addressing the issues of energy efficiency and climate change."

Funding and support for the ALC has come from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), and Australia's Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts (DEWHA).

The founding members of the ALC include SG CFLi Philips Lighting, GE Lighting and Industrial, Lighting Council Australia, Philippine Lighting Industry Association, ELI Quality Certification Institute, Havells Sylvania, Danson Electronics (HK) Ltd. Danson Electronics Pty Ltd, Zhejiang Yankon Group Co., Ltd., International CFL Harmonization Initiative (CFLI), Pure Spectrum, and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and the USAID ECO-Asia Clean Development and Climate Program.

SOURCE Asia Lighting Compact