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Power experts slam delay in launch of compact florescent lamps

Energy sector experts have criticised the delay in launching compact florescent lamps (energy savers) by replacing the high-power consuming incandescent lamps that could reduce the power consumption by 1,300MW per day, despite worst energy crisis.

Countries such as Sri Lanka, India or China have replaced incandescent lamps with compact florescent lamps that has not only reduced the energy bills of consumers but also reduced the consumption on lightening by 75 percent, they said.

Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) came up with a plan in 2009 to provide energy savers free-of-cost to its consumers to help conserve electricity. In the first phase, it planned to distribute 10 million energy savers by swapping incandescent bulbs and, in the second phase, it planned to distribute another 20 million energy savers but the plan was never materialised, experts said.

Affluent household traders and industries have though replaced their high-power consuming light gadgets with energy saver bulbs, which cost 10 times more than the incandescent bulbs. The poor cannot afford to do so and continue to bear high-power cost, they said.

“Pakistan planners should take cue from the Sri Lankan efforts,” Mian Fazal, a power sector expert, said.

He said the Sri Lankan government helped its electricity consumers to shift towards energy savers a decade ago by supplying them up to four fluorescent lamps on 12 months interest-free loans with two years performance warranty from five suppliers.

The amount loaned was deducted in monthly installments from the electricity bill or from salaries (government servants). A decade later, the programme is fully implemented in that country, he said.

Similarly, he said, the Bangalore Electric Supply Company (Bescom) in India targeted its 2.6 million consumers by offering them fluorescent lamps at the discount rate, or on nine-month installments, through electricity bills or salary to (Bescom staff only). The programme is a success.

Mohsin Syed, another power sector expert, said that normal incandescent lamp of 60 watts could be replaced with fluorescent lamp of 15 watts, while consumers save 75 watts per hour if they install florescent light of 25 watts to replace a normal incandescent bulb of 100 watts. The fluorescent lamp, he said, has guaranteed life of 8,000 hours, while it is also assumed that the normal lamp also has the same life.

Even at a minimum cost of Rs5 per unit a 15 watts fluorescent lamp would consume electricity worth Rs600 over its lifetime (8,000x15x5 divided by 1,000 watt hours), while an incandescent lamp of 60 watts giving same illumination would consume electricity worth Rs2,400 over its life.

He said that the power cost for consumers above 300 units is double. The cost of 15 watts fluorescent light is Rs150, while a 60 watts incandescent lamp costs Rs30. The consumer, thus, saves around Rs1,680 per bulb if it uses fluorescent light for 10 hours a day, he said.

Syed said that the saving in electricity consumption per day comes to 450 watts hour per day, or 13.5 units, per month (on use of 10 hours per day). If all the 18 million electricity consumers (domestic, industry, commercial and bulk) replace one bulb of 60 watts with the energy savers, the saving would be 810MW per day, he said. If 100 watts bulbs are replaced, he said, the saving could go up to 1,350MW per day. Nabeel Hashmi, chairman of the All Pakistan Business Forum, said that a World Bank report points out that lighting is a $230 billion market worldwide.

The global residential lighting electricity use is 28 percent, services and commercial is 48 percent, industry 16 percent and street lighting eight percent. The report also revealed that the global lighting saving potential is 40-60 percent from residences, 25-40 percent from commercial use, 15-25 percent from industry and 25-30 percent from streetlights.

It also said that 23 industrialised countries consume half of the world’s total lightening.

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