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All homes may have to switch on CFLs from Jan 1

Bangalore,October 1, DHNS:

The power-starved State Government has decided to do away with the use of traditional incandescent light bulbs and get even households to completely switch over to energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs by January 1, 2011.

To aggressively promote use of CFLs and LED bulbs among power consumers, the State government plans to use new ‘Belaku’ scheme with the Centre’s Bachat Lamp Yojana for near-total energy efficiency. The ‘Belaku’ will be launched by Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa on October 2 by handing over these bulbs to slumdwellers in Gulbarga city.

The scheme was put together to pull out Karnataka from a severe power crunch of 1,000 MW, leading the State to borrow power at Rs 350 crore per month. It had earlier banned use of traditional lamps in government offices, and now is contemplating extending the ban to households and other power consumers.

“If possible, a complete ban will be imposed from January 1, 2011,” State Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje told reporters on Friday.

‘Not an easy task’


However, according to BESCOM Managing Director Yushar Girinath, the State does not have powers to ban people from using the light bulbs of their choice, so imposing such a ban would not be easily possible.

As per the Belaku scheme, the ESCOMs will shortly start distributing four energy-efficient light bulbs to every household in the State at highly-subsidised rates of Rs 15 per bulb. Such bulbs would also be made available at all fair price shops at Rs 80 to Rs 90 each, Karandlaje said.

Authorised private companies would visit every household to replace the incandescent bulbs with either CFLs or LED light bulbs, she said. People would be made aware that by using CFLs and LED bulbs, monthly electricity bills could be cut down by nearly 25 per cent. And for the State, this meant up to 400 MW of power saved.

Going by the scheme, the BESCOM has already invited tenders from firms for the supply of CFLs and LED bulbs to Bangalore urban, Kolar and Bangalore rural districts. The distribution will begin shortly.

The State government would also make use of the services of the 50 firms identified by the Centre under its Bachat Lamp Yojana.

Certificates would also be collected from power consumers about their switch-over to the energy-efficient bulbs, for which they would be given carbon credits, Girinath said.

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