CFL bulbs would be given at free of cost to people in BPL category/ ST families and for half price to Above Poverty line people, he said. It was planned to supply 1000 CFL bulbs to each panchayat, he said. The Board expect to conserve 50MW through this, he said adding an amount of Rs.10 crores have been set apart for purchasing CF Lamps.
At a time when the quantum of electricity due to the State from the Centre is shrinking and the State’s dams are in a water-deficit condition, reducing the consumption of electricity is the best way to overcome power shortages, Electricity Minister A.K. Balan has said.
State now has a deficit of about three to four million units every day and this was met by purchasing power from other institutions by paying Rs.8.50 per unit, Balan told reporters here. Water level in reservoirs now was equivalent to produce only 2650 Million Units,he said.
The total demand for power per day was about 42-43 million units, he said. Nearly 15 million units was generated from Hydel projects, 16 million units from centre pool and Nine million units from Thermal Plants in the state, he said.
Mr. Balan said that the KSEB had finished the first eight months of this financial year (till the end of November) with a revenue gap of Rs.490 crore, since it had to buy large unbudgeted quantities of expensive energy from liquid fuel power stations to meet the demand in the State.
According to latest projections, without further supply restrictions or the imposition of further surcharges, the KSEB would finish 2008-09 with a revenue deficit of Rs.1,100 crore, Mr. Balan said. The situation pointed to “certain inevitabilities” (further restrictions/ tariff hike), which could be averted only if the consumers consciously reduced their demand for electricity.
He said the KSEB was now on an average drawing between 2 and 3 million units of very expensive energy daily through the power exchange system to make good the shortage of power availability from all other sources. The daily demand was in the range of between 42 and 43 million units now. This would go up to around 50 million units by March-April, the time of public examinations and hot summer weather. Then larger quantities of expensive energy would have to be bought to keep the show going.
The Centre had no plans to handle the power shortage in the country. Compared to the power situation in other States, Kerala’s performance on the power-planning front is commendable. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, load shedding is in force for eight hours a day. In Kerala, there is load-shedding only for thirty minutes, Balan said.
Mr. Balan said the State should be able to bring down the overall energy demand by at least 5 million units a day through conscious energy conservation measures. “We have drawn up the blueprint for a massive public campaign to make this possible,” he said. The plan was to involve the local bodies actively in the campaign, turning the ward-level family meetings into a platform to drive home the message of energy conservation.
The campaign, which would use all forms of the media, would also focus on school students, he said.