Call it an energy conservation overdrive or a power-packed move or anything else you'd. The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has decided to release new electricity connections to only those applicants who agree to use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or any other energy efficient lamps instead of the conventional incandescent bulbs.
DHBVN, which supplies electricity to 18 lakh consumers in the nine districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat, Rewari, Mahendragarh, Hisar, Bhiwani, Fatehabad and Sirsa, has made the energy saving lamps mandatory for new domestic and commercial connections from this month. "The applicant will have to deposit photo copies of the receipt of purchase of energy efficient lamps and the warranty card before the electricity connection is released," Director, Commercial, I. S. Nain told Hindustan Times.
As for the families below the poverty line (BPL), DHBVN will provide one energy efficient lamp to each family them free of cost at the time of approving the request for electricity connection, according to a circular issued by the company to all its field offices. The company officials are in talks with private firms to make available CFLs in their consumer care centres at discounted prices. It also plans to use mobile vans to sell energy efficient lamps.
"One fluorescent light lamp consumes only a fifth of the energy required by a conventional incandescent light bulb. With the power situation being what it is, we cannot afford conventional bulbs. And every CFL means energy saved. If each of the 18 lakh consumers replaces one conventional bulb with CFL, it would result in saving of roughly 300 MWs of power," DHBVN managing director Vijayendra Kumar told Hindustan Times. On an average, 30,000 applications are received for new connections every month.
The distribution company is also organizing rallies and seminars in villages to persuade its consumers to switch to fluorescent lamps. While half-a-dozen villages in Sirsa and Bhiwani districts have responded positively, the high cost of CFLs and the frequent voltage fluctuations are proving deterrents in most rural and urban areas. "I installed five CFLs at Rs 160 each in June last year to reduce my electricity bills, but three of them have been damaged by the fluctuations in voltage. We have gone back to using conventional bulbs till the quality of power supply improves," Gurgaon resident Satish Kaushik told Hindustan Times. A few other consumers have been facing similar difficulties.
When asked, a DHBVN official agreed that there was a problem of voltage fluctuation during the summer months, but steps were being taken to improve the quality of power supply. "It is also true that the fluorescent lamps cost more, but then these last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. In these get damaged due to voltage excursions, there is a warranty of one year and are replaced. It is a win-win situation for the consumers," they argued.
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