In an effort to promote energy efficiency, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), now at the centre of the public ire for unprecedented load shedding, will soon approach domestic consumers and hut dwellers to supply compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in exchange for conventional incandescent bulbs (in Tamil, gundu bulbs).
While domestic consumers will be covered under a scheme that will be financially supported by the Tangedco, the scheme for hut dwellers will be funded fully the State government, which has released about Rs. 14.6 crore for this purpose.
Approximately, 1.6 crore domestic consumers and 11.4 lakh hut services will be covered under the schemes.
Initially, 10.7 lakh domestic consumers in two districts – Villupuram and Kanyakumari will be the recipients of energy-efficient CFLs. Villupuram has been chosen for its predominant character of rural consumers and Kanyakumari district for its urbanity. . The scheme for the hut dwellers, though, will be rolled out across the State, covering seven lakh connections in the first phase over four months.
As regards the hut dwellers, the officials will give one CFL free of cost to each dweller in lieu of a 40-watt bulb. But, the domestic consumers will not get CFLs free. They will have to pay Rs. 15 for one lamp and can buy two. Each lamp will have a life cycle for 6,000 hours, as per Indian Standards. It carries warranty for one year.
For the scheme concerning hut dwellers, the Tangedco has zeroed in on a Kolkata-based firm and it is about to place a contract at a rate of Rs. 60 per CFL. In respect of the other, the executing agency is expected to be chosen in a month or so.
As for specifications, hut dwellers will receive 9 watt bulbs and the domestic consumers, 13 watt. This has been calculated on the ground that the hut dwellers, enjoying free power supply, are supposed to use only one 40 watt bulb. Generally, the domestic consumers are using 40 watt to 60 watt conventional bulbs.
The officials do not see any practical difficulty in contacting the domestic consumers since database is readily available with the authorities. The exchange of bulbs can be done at the time of payment of power bills.
It is in respect of the hut dwellers that the Tangedco will adopt a different strategy as there is no readymade database available. Therefore, the the corporation will carry out the scheme with the help of local councillors and wiremen.
While the use of energy-efficient CFLs helps end users to bring down their power bills, the distribution of such bulbs comes handy for the power utility to achieve savings of substantial amount of energy, which can be made available for commercial establishments, the high-end consumers.
Through this, the power utility can earn more as tariff for commercial establishments of low-tension category, is Rs. 7 per unit in the event of bi-monthly consumption exceeding 100 units.
Considering that there are about 1.6 crore domestic consumers, the Tangedco hopes to achieve savings of 600 megawatt (MW) annually once all the households in the State shift to CFLs.