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 implementation focus for en.lighten is on direct policy and technical assistance to countries
that have 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.
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 spent lamps.
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.