National Ujala Yojana must for energy conservation

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Er. Vikram Gour
According to economists the cheapest form of alternate energy resource is ‘energy saved’. As one unit of energy saved is equivalent to 1.25 units of energy generated taking the losses in transmission and distribution (T&D) to be only 25 %( In our state the losses are more than 60% accordingly 1-unit of energy saved is equivalent to 1.7 units of energy generated).The reduction in (T&D) losses, the theft and misuse of electricity can significantly increase the availability of electric energy to the law abiding citizens’ for multifarious purposes of development of the state.
The above statement is truer in case of our state where T&D losses and theft/misuse amount to a whopping 65-70%. The above statement is truer in case of our state where T&D losses and theft/ misuse amount to a whopping 65-70%. Presenting separate power budget, the Finance Minister revealed that as against Rs 4782.36 cores worth power purchase the revenue receipt from sale of power might be only about Rs 1800- cores against the target of Rs 3508 crores causing a loss of about 62%. This, however, does not include establishment, water usage, O&M charges, depreciation, and interest on loans etc that amounts to Rs 1303-crores.
The total expenditure works out to 6085,36 crores that would catapult losses to 70.4%. Almost for the last more than three decades the gap between supply and demand of electric power has been steadily increasing and we have not been able to reduce the gap or we may say we have not made any serious effort to reduce the gap. In spite of the fact that the state has the highest potential in the country for hydroelectric power generation yet its forbidding cost of production has prevented the state from going in for increasing power generation. It is, therefore, imperative that we find alternate methods of reducing the gap between supply and demand.
A casual study of the energy balance sheet of 2014-15 would reveal that of about 14503-MU of projected purchase of energy during 2014-15, the billing was only for 5849-MU resulting in Energy Loss of about 60%. Only if we are able to prevent about 50% from theft and misuse and reduce our T&D losses to National Average of 19-20% we shall be making tremendous gains in the availability of electric power to the genuine power users. Say if we save about 40% of the 60% losses and reduce the T&D losses to our national average we shall be making available 5769-MU of saved energy to the genuine consumers and add another Rs 1800-crores to state’s revenue without any additional investment. (Imagine the cost of generation of 904-MW thus saved @ 9-10-crores/MW). This would not only stabilize the power distribution system but would also increase revenue manifold. This can be done by 100% metering and strict accountability of the field staff involved in the power distribution system.
‘National UjalaYojana’ is a major step in this direction wherein Ministry of Power has decided to save energy by replacing 200 million incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs of much lower wattage, thus saving10.5 billion KWH in Electricity consumed in lighting all
over the country.
Under the Uajla Yojana the government will issue highly subsidised 5-LED bulbs for only Rs 100.
Subsequently under the scheme LED bulbs will be available at 60% subsidised const of Rs 85 per bulb. (In response to the latest offer received against tenders floated at the National Level for bulk purchase the price has further come down to Rs 38.5 per bulb).
Ujala Yojana benefits:
i) By this program people will become aware of the benefits of the LED bulbs.
ii) People from all walks of life can use LED bulbs as these will be available at much cheaper rates.
iii) The negative impact of incandescent bulbs over environment can be controlled and checked by the positive effect of usage of LED bulbs.
iv) LED bulb being energy efficient will reduce the energy consumption thus helping in conservation of Electric power.
(Author is Member; JKSERC -Advisory Committee and President: Consumer Welfare Association).

There are some useful tips to economise use of energy
n Switch off an extra light here and a fan there.
n Switch off fans and lights in unoccupied rooms.
n Change over to compact fluorescent lamps, CFL/CED
n Use washing machine at proper loads and every alternate day when the full Kg load of clothes collects. Use kitchen mixer on alternate day, if possible.
n Mix hot water in a bucket for a bath rather than a geyser shower which consumes more power and up to 90-litres of water for a bath. Get the geyser element changed every 5-6 years.
n Switch on the AC an hour later and switch off an hour earlier. Keep the windows closed after switching off to retain the cooling effect for a longer time. Clean the AC filter at least once every fortnight.
n Switch on electric iron only after getting together all the clothes to be ironed.
n Teach children and instruct domestic staff to switch off lights when not in use or even when you leave the room for a few seconds.
n In rooms use light colours for walls. This helps reduce lighting requirement up to 40%.
n Keep lights and fixtures clean and dirt free. Dust and dirt reduce the lighting level as much as 30%.
n Clean and lubricate fans regularly and replace old regulators with electronic regulators. They help reduce electricity consumption significantly at lower speeds.
n Cool the food sufficiently before storing in refrigerator. Check on gasket lining of the fridge-avoid opening the fridge frequently. Defrost the fridge once the ice gets more than 1/4″inch thick. Regular defrosting reduces the power consumption.
n Do not unnecessarily waste water in your daily cores and use water economically. This will reduce running of your water pump for filling overhead water tank.
n Look for ISI mark when buying electric appliances e.g. desert coolers, ACs, fans, electric iron, or any other appliance for domestic use.
We should avoid using heavy electric appliances during morning and evening peak load hours i.e. 6 to 9 morning and evening.
These are just few useful and easy tips to avoid excessive power usage. These tips will lead to substantial savings on our power bill- without compromising on comfort or convenience in any way. This will certainly help bridging the energy gap by cutting down on the enormous wastage in homes, offices, factories and fields.
While the above mentioned tips will effect saving on the individual bills, the J&K state which itself is paying very heavily for importing power from the various agencies from outside the state will be saving on its import bill which runs into hundreds of crores.

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