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US$88 Mln in Subsidies for Energy-saving Bulbs

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The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, unveiled a plan on Wednesday to promote the use of 120 million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) this year, an effort aimed to boost consumption while saving energy.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has allocated 600 million yuan (US$87.8 million) to subsidize this plan, the two agencies said in a joint statement.

The energy-efficient bulbs will help save 6.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6.2 million tonnes. They are also expected to cut electric bills by 3.1 billion yuan nationwide.

Roughly 3.7 million bulbs were sold at a subsidized price of 1 yuan in Beijing last year, 9 yuan cheaper than the usual retail price. The city's government plans to promote sales of 10 million bulbs this year.

(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2009)