CFLs may now cost only Rs 10-15
The government is working on a proposal that will provide consumers the energy saving CFL bulbs at the cost of a common incandescent bulb — Rs 10-15. It is working to ensure that the distribution of the subsidised CFL bulbs begins in right earnest across the country in the next six months, though some cities may see the introduction of these cheap CFLs even sooner.
The government estimates that once the replacement is complete, it could save the consumers energy cost of 10,000 MW annually and at the same time reduce the country’s carbon footprint. Taking advantage of the clean development mechanism under the international climate change treaty, the government will be able to offset the cost of the CFL bulbs to the manufacturers or the distributors by availing carbon credits. Carbon credits allow developing countries to take energy saving action, with the developed countries bearing the costs of such action.
The proposal received the green light from the Prime Minister at the climate change council meeting on Friday.
Under the plan, the CFL producers will tie-up with power distributors across the country to distribute the bulbs at Rs 10-15 to each domestic consumer on the grid. The bulbs will be quality certified to work for 10,000 hours with a guarantee from the distributor to replace the bulb in case of early failure. The bulb will be bought back at Rs 2 upon fusing and sent to mercury recovery facilities that will be set up by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency will accredit experts to monitor the usage of power through each power distributor’s domain. High-end meters will be put up in a few houses which will remotely send signals recording the power consumed by using a CFL instead of a common bulb. On this basis, the Bureau will be able to calculate the amount of carbon credits the CFL manufacturer and distributor will be able to claim. These credits can then be sold in carbon markets to recover the additional costs and profit.
The director-general of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ajay Mathur, told TOI, “Each year, the manufacturer or distributor will be able to recover Rs 20-25 on each bulb and therefore recover complete retail cost in three years time.”
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