Affordable LEDs to cut cost of power purchase

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The central government’s Unnat Jyoti Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme has evoked a positive response in Chandigarh.

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Implementing the scheme, the UT Administration has set up counters at different spots, including 23 Sampark centres, to distribute sets of four 9-watt LED bulbs, two 20-watt LED tubes, and a 50-watt fan. LED or light-emitting diode bulbs are energy efficient. It has given away 2.35 lakh bulbs, 32,678 tube-lights and 11,752 fans for a subsidised price under the programme.

The LED bulbs will help save 30,630 megawatt-hours of electricity every year, while the tube light will save another 14.31 lakh kWh, besides lowering the power-purchase cost by Rs 12 crore and peak power demand by 6 MW. The tube-lights will save the electricity department Rs 48.66 lakh a year. The fans will save 4,554 kWh power and Rs 15,483 a day.

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Under the directions of Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), the transmission and distribution losses— the difference between power purchased and power billed—cannot be more than 13.75 percent of the total power purchased. However, the UT’s losses have been well above 15 percent in the past three years, which has cost the department about Rs 40 crore.

Chandigarh doesn’t have its own power-generation plant. It buys electricity from central stations such as Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN).

By Baishakhi Dutta

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