Replacing all the world’s inefficient lighting with energy efficient alternatives would
cut the global share of electricity used for lighting by 50% and lead to a 5% reduction in
total global electricity consumption. This ambitious transition would also reduce annual CO2
emissions by at least 31 billion tonnes.
The en.lighten initiative is in its third year of implementation and mitigation results are
anticipated by the end of 2016. The implementation focus for en.lighten is on direct policy
and technical assistance to countries that have some efficient lighting policy elements in
place and are ready to take rapid action to phase out inefficient lamps. The 46 en.lighten
Country Partners (representing approximately 20% of the world’s population) already
have some experience with supporting policies and activities, such as massive distributions
of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These countries seek to make permanent changes to
sustain energy and environmental benefits.
Some countries have begun to adopt minimum energy performance standards. However, most do not
yet have comprehensive monitoring, verification and enforcement schemes or collection and
recycling programs. Many countries need to strengthen their laboratory and technical testing
capabilities before they can progress to verification and enforcement. Thus, en.lighten is
facilitating training and capacity building via its private sector partners with activities
being conducted in 15 countries in 2012.
en.lighten offers a step-by-step, customizable process for policy makers from multiple
ministries to work together to develop a National Efficient Lighting Strategy based on an
integrated policy approach. Six countries and one region (Central America) are preparing
status reports and will conduct inception workshops as the first step towards having draft
legislation prepared within a year. The status reports contain baseline data and information
that can be used to document and verify outcomes of the policy development process.
To serve all 46 country Partner effectively, en.lighten will provide technical assistance
through webinars, expert consultations and reference materials through its
“en.lightened learning” portal.
To date, no global, robust and transparent information has been available for tracking
lighting electrical energy consumption and related global greenhouse gases. To address this
gap, en.lighten recently collaborated with partners to develop a model and publish Country
Lighting Assessments for 150 countries. The assessments provide estimates for potential
energy savings, CO2 reductions, and financial gains by shifting to energy efficient lighting
technologies in the residential, commercial/industrial and outdoor lighting sectors.
Together, the assessments account for lighting used by approximately 95% of the world
To track policy progress, en.lighten has researched and ranked the activities and readiness
of countries to phase out inefficient lighting in the residential sector. The Global Policy
Map provides an overview of efficient lighting policies and successes. The information for
each country covers standards, labels, supporting policies, product quality control
activities and environmentally sound management policies. Ratings and references will be
Reducing electrical demand decreases the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce
electricity, and may allow countries to close older power plants that rely on coal and other
fossil fuels. With a global transition to efficient lighting, over 250 large coal power
plants could be retired. During a global economic crisis, these savings could be reallocated
to social services and, infrastructure projects, including schools, hospitals and roads. It
would also allow for expansion of electrical service into underserviced areas or help to
improve electrical service in existing areas. Realizing billions of dollars in saved
electricity costs could boost economies and create green jobs. Improved access to electricity
for millions of people will lead to increased productivity, income and improvement in quality
of life for the urban poor.
A transition to energy efficient lighting encourages the sustainable use of natural resources
as it reduces the dependence on fossil fuel burning in power plants to produce electricity.
The introduction of new, energy efficient technologies encourages environmental
sustainability actions which include establishing maximum mercury content limits and
responsible end of life management that encompasses collection, and/or recycling programs for
Few actions could reduce carbon emissions as cheaply and easily as the phase-out of
inefficient lighting, making it one of the most effective and economically advantageous ways
to combat climate change to ultimately benefit urban communities around the world.
The en.lighten initiative activities are developed in a way that can be replicated in every
country, taking into consideration local circumstances and needs. For example, the Country
Lighting Assessments are based on a model that is used for all countries but can accept input
data from any country that has its own data collection program. The National Efficient
Lighting Strategy development process works similarly: en.lighten offers an agenda, menu of
activities, and options for expert technical assistance. Each country chooses the
options that will work best to rapidly achieve their transition to efficient lighting.
The Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme, launched in 2011, is a voluntary
initiative for countries to work with en.lighten to achieve a coordinated national or
regional transition to efficient lighting. en.lighten, along with its international partners,
provides support to national regulators and/or regional bodies in the development of
policies, strategies and actions for the phase-out of inefficient lighting products, while
ensuring that the lighting technologies meet global minimum standards and that spent
lamps are treated in an environmentally sound manner.
For any new activity, en.lighten enlists the experiences of its expert Taskforces, and then
conducts the activity on a pilot basis with several Partner Countries. This allows for
adjustments and enhancements of activities before they are offered to all countries.
en.lighten is also establishing collaboration agreements with other organizations so that the
activities can be replicated by others. For example, en.lighten is conducting regional
workshops where countries that share some market characteristics can learn together from peer
experiences, understand the resources available from en.lighten, and then identify
organizations to implement activities.
The ultimate outcome of any Partner Country’s National Efficient Lighting Strategy is
the adoption of policies (laws, mandates, decrees or other legal instruments) that will
ensure permanent uptake of high efficiency lighting technologies and removal of inefficient
products. This will ensure long-term climate change mitigation.
When nations and regions harmonize their efforts by working with en.lighten, they effectively
aggregate the buying demand of their lighting consumers. This provides an incentive for
manufacturers and distributors to offer higher efficiency products at lower prices, because
they can be assured of a higher volume of sales. Market aggregation also reduces their
product packaging, labeling, testing and certification costs. This ultimately benefits
the low-income consumers of energy efficient lighting products.