Big demand for ecobulbs

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by Alexia Johnston

An “extremely” popular ecobulb initiative in Timaru last week meant some residents went home empty-handed.

Residents were encouraged to redeem a voucher they received in the post for five free ecobulbs, courtesy of LineTrust South Canterbury.

The vouchers could be redeemed from Southern Trust Events Centre at Aorangi Park on Friday and Saturday, last week.

They were also available from Fairlie, Geraldine, Temuka and Twizel.

However, the light bulbs were snapped up, which meant many people were sent home empty-handed.

LineTrust South Canterbury chairman Grant Eames said an evaluation of the project was under way, but there was no doubt the ecobulbs were “extremely popular”.

More than 8000 homes have benefited from the bulbs.

However, not everyone did so.

Some householders did not receive a voucher in the post, while others who did receive a voucher were too late to redeem it because there were not enough ecobulbs to go around.

Bayonet bulbs were the first to run out.

“Unfortunately, there were a number of customers who were disappointed. [But,] the early bird catches the worm,” Mr Eames said.

“It was ‘while stocks last’.”

And, in Timaru that was not long, as stocks ran low by noon on the Friday.

“We knew we might be busy, but we didn’t know it would be quite that rushed off our feet,” he said.

“At every place the queue was out the door from when we started.”

There were no plans to host another free ecobulb initiative, he said.

“Certainly not this year, but we wouldn’t rule out some sort of project in the future.”

He said research suggested the bayonet bulbs would not be in as much demand as they had been.

“We based it on some research that had been done, which told us how many different types of lamps were in houses, but it was only a small sample.”

He said bayonet demand showed people had also not upgraded to the modern screw-in bulbs.

“If we did it again, we would say there’s more bayonet caps and hope people haven’t changed.”