Thanks to long and frequent power cuts, people across income groups are opting for inverters
If there's one section of people that's happy about the persistent power cuts in the city, it is the traders who sell inverters. Their sales graph has shown a phenomenal growth in recent months, when the power situation in the State hit new lows.
The inverter traders on Ritchie Street are especially having a field day. “From 10 inverters in a month, we now sell 200 a week,” says H. Sunil of Ranjeeth Electronics and Television. “The residents of mofussil areas — where the power cuts last 8 to 10 hours — are behind the sudden surge in demand for inverters. The spurt in numbers is largely the result of retailers from these areas placing bulk orders."
A popular choice is the 700-Watt inverter but, in recent months, a growing preference for inverters of 400- or 500-Watt capacity is evident. The attraction for these inverters, which can service small-sized houses, proves that inverters have become a necessity across income groups.
The extremely cost-conscious buyer has other options, including 40- to 60-Watt CFL UPS units. These low-power backup systems come in handy for small shops and single-room houses. Besides powering a couple of CFL bulbs, they can run a pint-sized DC-fan.
The demand for assembled inverters has also gone up. “People from the mofussil areas prefer assembled units, because they cost 10 per cent less than company-made inverters,” says M. Maideen of M.M. Enterprises, who specialise in the assembly and repair of inverters. “Since the extended power cuts began, there has been a 25 per cent increase in business.”
M. Benjamin, president of the Tamil Nadu Electronics Technicians Association, believes the power cuts have forced people to change in many ways. He says, “Saving power has become a necessity. Everyone is making that effort. They know their power backups will last longer if they switch to lighting solutions that consume less electricity. Where a 40-Watt bulb was used, now people use two 4-Watt LED bulbs. People are also turning to DC fans. In this power crisis, the changing attitude towards electricity is the silver lining.”