K. Radhakrishnan, former Member (Generation) of the Kerala State Electricity Board said that if all the electricity consumers in Kerala switch off their fridge for three hours during the evening peak hours the State can ward off load shedding for the next three years.
“Switching off the fridge can reduce at least 300 Mega Watts of electric load in the State during the peak load hours thus bridging the supply-demand gap” Mr. Radhakrishnan said while speaking at an energy conservation awareness programme organised by the Manayilkulangara unit of the Nair Service Society here on Monday.
Keeping the fridge switched off during the peak hour will also bring down the purchase load of the KSEB because the peak load energy purchase costs go above Rs. 15 per unit. It has other advantages as well. There will be reduction in energy consumption by the fridge up to 15 per cent thereby cutting down the electricity bill. This fact has been authenticated through a detailed study by the research wing of the KSEB, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
Also making the fridge operate during the low voltage period reduces the life of the compressor. Thus switching off the fridge during low voltage hours increases the life of the fridge by 50 per cent, studies have proved. This is also applicable to other equipments like water pump, air conditioners, washing machines and blenders.
He said that switching over to high efficiency equipment can further reduce electricity consumption to a large extent. Equipments with energy labels having three stars or above can save much energy. When an old fridge consumes up to 4 units per day a new generation four star fridge consumes less than one unit per day.
Another field in which revolutionary changes have occurred is lighting. The ordinary bulb converts two per cent of energy into light and the rest into heat. Fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps are much more efficient. Replacing ordinary tube lights with thinner T8 tubes bring about ten percent reductions and with still thinner T5 tubes with electronic chokes can reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said that that the light emitting diode (LED) lamps, the comparatively new addition are claimed to be more efficient but they are yet to be technologically refined for economic use or general purpose lighting. Many other modern lighting types of equipment are reaching the market every day.
“Kerala with extravagance in domestic electricity consumption has tremendous scope for energy conservation and social organisations should come forward to spread the message of energy conservation”, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.