Energy Star wants more CFL subsidies

According to the article As C.F.L. Sales Fall, More Incentives Urged Energy Star products manager Richard Karney wants continued funding for CFL programs.

I find this rather stunning. Why should taxpayers and utility customers subsidise an arbitrarily chosen product with numerous quality problems and safety issues that customers don’t like, to give it an unfair market advantage over other products that customers prefer due to their safety, reliability, versatility and higher quality?

If a product is so unpopular and poorly designed that you have to give it away, isn’t that an indicator that it’s time to get back to the drawing board and focus on the mercury-free alternatives, making incandescent Halogen Energy Savers even more efficient, and LEDs brighter, cheaper, more incandescent-like and colour stable?

The N.Y. Times article also mentions its previous article about Halogen Energy Savers, Incandescent Bulbs Return to the Cutting Edge which says that in the U.S. these are sold exclusively at Home Depot (can’t find any in their online catalogue) and Amazon.com (obviously quite a bit pricier than here in Sweden where they’ve been freely available for a year). Isn’t this late introduction, high price and very restricted availability rather strange, considering the fact that you can buy cheap CFLs at the nearest gas station or supermarket? Does the lighting industry not want us to buy these new and improved halogen lamps which give the same top quality light as standard incandescent lamps but saving 20-50% energy?

What is it with CFLs that make them get all the special treatment, even though many are not more effective than the best halogen energy savers, contain mercury and have a long list of quality- and other problems?

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