NewsGram Staff Writer
Mumbai: The government-sponsored LED distribution program, which has ushered in a new era by replacing the incandescent bulbs and CFLs with energy-efficient LED lamps, saves a staggering 68 lakh kilowatts of energy including a cut in 645 megawatts of power during peak hours and domestic savings of Rs 2.71 crore daily.
Evidently, the program has enabled the cottage industries in Puducherry that make incense sticks, mats and perfumed candles to stay open late into the night with their electricity bills intact. Nearly 600 km away in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, farmers living in mud houses along the Krishna River no longer complain about escalating power bills while switching on lights at dusk.
Saurabh Kumar, managing director of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a PSU under the power ministry that is stewarding the LED distribution initiative, said the pilot program has been expanded to all districts in Andhra Pradesh since its launch in April 2014 (Puducherry pilot phase).
“Today, almost 90% of all households in AP and Puducherry have replaced incandescent bulbs with LED lamps and the electricity bills of a household have reduced by up to Rs 200 every month,” Kumar said.
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh witnessed the LED push
in January with over two crore LED bulbs being distributed in these states. The project under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Program aims to reduce power consumption, increase domestic savings and curb carbon emission.
The project aims to replace 77 crore regular bulbs and 40 crore CFLs (bought by Indians every year) with more energy efficient LED lamps ensuring a significant savings for the poor.
The LED project is financed by consumers themselves through two plans. The first one is an ‘onbill EMI’ model under which consumers have to pay Rs 105 for an LED bulb across 10 months, which is added to the monthly power bill. The second plan allows the consumer to buy bulbs in one go — every consumer is entitled to four LED bulbs — by paying Rs 100 apiece. Notably, the bulbs come with a three-year replacement warranty.
LED bulbs actually cost Rs 300-350 apiece in the market — the government offers cheaper bulbs because it procures in bulk – around 7.5 crore bulbs so far. The government effort has already halved market prices from Rs 650-700 apiece a year ago.