With the light not shining so bright on the Union government’s UJALA scheme, the electricity supply companies (Escoms) in the State will start selling the energy-saving LED bulbs door-to-door from August 5.
The Energy Department is said to have given its nod to enable the sales through linemen in urban areas and Grama Vidyut Pratinidhis in rural areas. Under the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), the sale of LED bulbs, which are being sold at a highly subsidised rate (Rs. 80 per bulb) under the scheme, was until now restricted to counters at the sub-divisional offices. However, the sales made through these have been far lesser than the set target.
Over 51 lakh LED bulbs have been sold in Bescom limits under the scheme implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL). This number stands at over 1.18 crore in Karnataka. But Bescom’s targeted sales stand at 2.95 crore by the end of the ongoing financial year (2016-17), while the State’s target is six crore, said Bescom Managing Director P. Rajendra Cholan.
Bescom officials said the average number of bulbs sold per month under its jurisdiction has been about 7.4 lakh, with ISRO Layout division having the highest sales.
However, this number has seen a gradual fall.
“The sales in January to March was around 10 lakh per month in the Bescom area, which is now around five lakh. Monsoon is one of the reasons for low turnout of customers,” said an official.
EESL MD Saurabh Kumar admitted that sales were dwindling in Bengaluru. “But we have crossed a crore in Karnataka. It is natural that with higher penetration, the sales will fall. We are looking at achieving another one crore sales in Karnataka.,” he said.
If Karnataka can have a scheme for selling low energy consuming LED bulbs, why can't Bengal? Is it because we are a surplus electricity producing state and do not need to conserve electricity?