LEDs At INR 85 A Win-Win For All?


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We’re assuming you’re aware of the benefits of using LED lights. They are greener, brighter and the best in lighting technology at present. Although the cost has been falling every year and return on investment is quick, they have a higher initial cost.

The Indian government has launched a brilliant scheme to make LEDs affordable for everyone. Aptly named UJALA, it is powered by the Ministry of Power and EESL. Under this scheme, a 9W LED bulb can be purchased at only INR 85, by far lower than the market price of around INR 200 to 300. This wide adaptation of LEDs will help India save massively on energy costs, lower emissions and also help reduce the grid loads. Reducing load on the grid means lesser new power plants required, which means lesser CO2, water and other emissions.

So far more than 11 crore LED bulbs have been distributed by the government. The Ministry has also set up a cool website www.ujala.gov.in where you can see the number of LEDs distributed, amount of energy and money saved, peak demand avoided and CO2 saved.

According to the site, more than 4 crore KWh of energy is been saved each day – that’s power for more than 1 crore of our population. But these savings are as compared to incandescent bulbs which have been replaced with CFLs in urban areas. As LEDs consume lesser than CFLs, the real world figures can be assumed to be impressive enough.

Aren’t subsidies bad for the economy?

Oil and gas subsidies are, but subsidising energy efficiency is going to help the economy and the environment. The amount of energy and money saved from this is much more than what the country would have to pay for new plants, land, water, energy costs and not to forget the dangerous environmental repercussions. Also, with mass production and demand, the government has successfully lowered the procurement price of LED bulbs from INR 310 in 2014 to as low as INR 54.9 in April, 2016. This is perhaps going to be directly profitable for the government as well.

What about warranty and quality of the bulbs?

LEDs under this scheme come with 3 years’ full replacement warranty which is better than the 1 or 2 years available in the market. The government is procuring these bulbs from 17 reputed manufacturers including popular brands such as Philips, Bajaj, Cromption, Ever-ready, Orient, HPL and Wipro. On the website, they have mentioned that only 0.31 percent of the total LEDs have been found to be defective and have been immediately replaced.

Where to buy?

Visit your local electricity office where you pay your bills. They will guide you to a distribution kiosk nearby. Do carry a recent electricity bill and a valid photo ID proof with a photocopy. There is a limit of 10 LED bulbs per domestic user bill and 20 for a commercial user.

The Future

The government is planning to launch similar schemes for energy efficient fans and air conditioners. This would help the country save 20000 MW of electrical energy and INR 40000 crores.

What do you think? Makes sense?

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