An ambitious plan to lower municipal electricity bills
THE Centre will monitor electricity consumption pattern of municipalities from March. This is to reduce the 10 per cent power deficit and 16 per cent peak power deficit in the country.
"We will start with 33 municipalities," said Tarun K Khushwaha, project engineer of the programme called the Municipality Demand Side Management. "The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (bee) will monitor street lighting, water pumping, sewage treatment and electricity efficiency of municipal buildings," Khushwaha said.
BEE estimates it would take about three months to audit the 33 municipalities. It has floated a tender to rope in private companies. After the bee audit, the selected private company would do a second audit. After the second audit, the private company, on its expense, would bring about efficiency measures.
"Some of the money saved through the recommended measures would be used to pay the private company and the municipality would keep the rest," Khushwaha said.
A BEE survey in May 2008 had found that of the 171 municipalities, nine cities had energy efficiency cells and 38 municipalities had separate funds for carrying out energy efficiency measures. For example, the Indore Municipal Corporation changed about half the city's streetlights from metal halide and sodium vapour to fluorescent tube lights. The electricity bill came down by Rs 1 crore. "Not all streetlights need sodium vapour lamps or metal halide lamps. These are useful for the highway. For colony roads and parks, more efficient T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps can be used," said Hans Kumar Jain, the project engineer at the Indore municipal corporation.
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