Price of energy-efficient LED bulbs has dropped to Rs 50 from previous Rs 350 following government intervention, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he targeted saving Rs 1.25 lakh crore in energy cost through installation of 77 crore such lighting devices. Delivering his third Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, he said light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs not just save electricity but also reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the environment and the economy.
“LED bulb used to cost Rs 350 (apiece) in India. At that price who will buy a LED bulb (over a conventional bulb). And the government did not bother much about it. But if the LED bulb can change the life of people, environment and economy, the government should also try to change its work culture. We did that and through government intervention, the price of a Rs 350 LED bulb has now been brought down to Rs 50,” he said. Use of LEDs in households and public lighting could reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent to 90 per cent.
So far, the government has distributed more than 13 crore LED bulbs, and is aiming to distribute more than 70 crore bulbs through bulk orders within the next three years. Under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), the government procures LED bulbs through competitive bidding and provides the bulbs to consumers at competitive rates. This has led to bringing down of cost of LED bulbs.
Stating that so far 13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed, Modi said the government would have been hailed by people if it would have resorted to populist style of giving Rs 300 as subsidy from the exchequer. But through its intervention, thousands of crores of rupees in energy cost as well as price of LED bulb have been saved, he said.
If the 77 crore incandescent bulbs sold in Indian households were switched to LEDs, the country could save 20,000 megawatt (25 billion KWh or units) of energy per year worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore, he said. He appealed to citizens to switch to LED bulbs and save Rs 250-500 in electricity bill. “We can save Rs 1.25 lakh crore in energy bills annually if 77 crore LEB bulbs are installed and 20,000 MW of consumption cut,” he said.