August 22, 2009

Germans, others hoard incandescent bulbs

Energy-inefficient conventional light bulbs are being hoarded by Germans, Austrians and Hungarians in advance of a European Union ban, analysts say.

New EU rules banning incandescent bulbs will take effect next month as sales of the old-fashioned lights are falling at double-digit rates in most European countries. But not so in Germany and the other two nations, where consumers are buying them at a furious rate and hoarding them, Financial Times reported Saturday.

In fact, data from consumer research group GfK shows sales of incandescent bulbs have risen 34 percent year-on-year in Germany in the first six months of 2009.

Germans are often skeptical about innovations, Christian Schraft, head of the consumer division of lighting producer Osram, told Financial Times. And in difficult economic times in particular, they tend to stick to what is tried and tested.