Himachal CM Launches Energy Saving CFL Atal Bijli Scheme

Shimla: Without a mechanism for safe disposal of burnt out compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs in place, the Himachal government on Sunday launched an ambitious program of providing 4 CFL bulbs to over 16 lakh domestic consumers free as an energy saving measure.

Named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the ‘Atal Bilji Bachat Yojana’ was initially targeted to be fully implemented by December 25, which happens to be the birthday of the former prime minister.

Launching the scheme from Kala Kendra center at , chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told a huge public gathering at Kullu that usage of CFL lighting would reduce energy consumption by as much as 70 to 150 MW in peak hours.

On the occasion the chief minister also announced 7 % dearness allowance for employees and pensioners that is due from July 2008. He said that since January a 23 percent hike in government salaries had been provided.

Talking about the energy saving scheme Dhumal said, “every consumer would be provided 4 CFL bulbs, two of 15 watt and two of 20 watt, free of cost as a replacement of two 60 watt and two 100 watt incandescent lamps at his premises in order to encourage use of environment friendly domestic lighting system amongst consumers.”

“Atal Bijli Bachat Yojana will annually contribute to saving 270 million units of energy that could be made available for other categories,” said Dhumal. Sale of this power could earn an additional revenue of Rs 99 crore, he added.

There are about 16.3 lakh domestic electricity consumers registered in the state and the government has marked a budget of Rs 80 crore for the scheme.

Domestic consumers energy bills are expected to reduce by as much as 30 percent after switching over to CFL lighting, he claimed.

The government also proposes to use the scheme earning carbon credits when traded over the power exchange.

The scheme qualifies for earning through Certified Emission Reductions (CER) under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

On acquiring approval of CDM executive board of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), state electricity board is entitled for about 1,88,496 CERs, which can fetch an additional revenue of Rs 20 crore, he said.

In her welcome address, chief secretary Asha Swaroop said that the object of the scheme was to save on bills of the domestic consumer and save power consumption in the state. Every effort would be made to get the scheme executed by December 25, said the chief secretary.

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