Lighting Industry, News

India’s prime minister launches huge LED lamp subsidies for consumers

Prime Time: Prime Minister Modi is pushing hard for LEDs and their energy savings. Here he shows off the packaging for an LED lamp as he launches a national programme to subsidise sales.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to gallop along the LED trail, as he pushes the country toward the energy saving lighting technology.

Modi this week announced that the government will subsidise LED light bulbs in Delhi, allowing consumers to purchase two of them for 130 rupees each (about $2.00) rather than paying the market price of between 350 to 600 rupees ($5.50 to 9.50), the prime minister announced on his website .

Anyone who registers via the scheme’s website or via paper channels will pay 10 rupees upfront and 10 rupees each month for a year via their electricity bill; or they can pay the entire amount in one lump sum.

The initiative will kick off in the Indian capital territory in March, and will eventually roll out nationally as part of Modi’s goal of installing LED lamps for homes and for streetlighting in 100 cities, the government article stated.

The government’s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is purchasing bulk volumes of LED bulbs for resale to the public. EESL is part of the Ministry of Power, and itself consists of a national generating company, a finance company, a rural electrification company and a power transmission company.

Modi is stressing the importance of energy conservation in a country which suffers from a power shortage. LEDs are well known for requiring only 10-to-20 percent of the electricity of conventional incandescents. Although compact fluorescent bulbs are nearly as efficient as LEDs, they do not last nearly as long as the purported 20-year-plus lifetime of an LED lamp.

In announcing the progamme, Modi symbolically replaces a lamp in his office with an LED. He referred to LEDs as a ‘Prakash Path’ (a ‘way to light’), and called for a ‘people’s movement,’ encouraging individuals to give LED bulbs rather than diaries and calendars as New Years gifts.

It echoes a move last October in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in which the government there combined with Modi’s federal government to subsidise the sale of LED lamps at 16 cents.

Many Indian cities are also converting streetlights to LEDs. Modi’s national LED subsidy programme also includes streetlights, although the prime minister’s website provides little detail of how it works.

Photo is from Prime Minister Modi’s website