Light bulb retailers league table

Last edited 14 July 2007 at 9:43am

Ban the Bulb campaign archive: content last updated 14 July 2007

Which retailers are seizing the light to take a lead on energy efficiency, and which are lagging way behind? Our league table of light bulb retailers makes it easy to distinguish the bright sparks from the dullards.

Retailers have been rated on when they will completely phase out inefficient incandescent bulbs - as their policies improve, they move up the table.

Note: we stopped updating this league table in October 2007, so it may no longer reflect the current standpoint of the various retailers.

A - end of 2007


A - end of 2007  
A - end of 2007


A - end of 2007 ASDA, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Woolworths
A - end of 2007

B&Q, Homebase, Ikea,
John Lewis, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose, Wickes/Focus

Update: 23 October 2007
In a letter to Greenpeace, Somerfield have announced that they will commit to phasing out incandescent light bulbs by the end of 2011. All the retailers in our league table have now set a date for removing inefficient bulbs from their shelves.

Update: 27 September 2007
Woolworths have now committed to phasing out incandescents by the end of 2010 so move up from last place to D. Co-op and Ikea have also moved up the table to D. The positions of other retailers reflect the most recent correspondence we've received from them.

Update: 28 August 2007
Sainsbury's has also announced that it will remove all incandescent light bulbs from sale by 2010, and moves up from E to D.

Update: 26 July 2007
Following announcements from ASDA and Morrisons about improvements to their light bulb policies, they've both moved up the table from F to D.

We wrote to them in early 2007 and asked whether they:

  • support the principle of mandatory minimum efficiency standards for energy-using products
  • would support a ban, at UK or EU level, on sales of all incandescent light bulbs
  • would eliminate incandescent light bulbs from their range, and by when.

We then graded them according to how soon they would get rid of inefficient light bulbs, and two retailers came out ahead of the pack. Habitat, which will phase them out by the end of 2009, and Currys, which will be doing so by the end of 2007. All those rated 'E' have said they will remove these power crazy bulbs from their shelves by 2011 at the latest.

That still left several milling around with no indication of when they would follow suit. However, some have demonstrated a certain level of willing in promoting efficient CFL bulbs over out-dated models - both Morrisons and ASDA sell energy efficient bulbs at relatively low prices, and they make up 41 per cent of Ikea's total bulb sales.

But one retailer stood out as the one we should rank 'W' for 'Worst' - Woolworths. There's no indication that the company supports a mandatory ban; for every efficient bulb it sells, it sells seven inefficient ones; and the cost of efficient bulbs are up to 12 times more than its cheapest inefficient variety.

Somerfield also performed pretty badly but because of it sells efficient bulbs for considerably less than Woolworths, it escaped being placed last - this time.

If you'd like to know more, you can read the full report.

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