Minister for the Environment John Gormley has proposed that from next March, businesses will be forced to make energy-efficient lightbulbs rather than more traditional electric models.

Also, retailers will be given three months from March to clear their stocks and any breach of regulations after this date could result in a fine and possibly a jail sentence.

A consultation process on the issue of incandescent lightbulbs closed last Friday, with responses likely to be forwarded to the EU Commission.

According to the Irish Times, this could then take three months before legislation could be passed by the Oireachtas.

Before the consultation, Mr Gormley said: “With more energy efficient alternatives now widely available, the proposed standard is a sensible and timely measure in terms of reducing both the carbon intensity and cost of general lighting.”

The move is expected to half the number of traditional lightbulbs on sale in Ireland, while also cutting greenhouse gases.

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