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Energy conservation: A voyage from ICL to CFL

Published on 31th Mar, Edition 13, 2014


Power shortfall was recorded at 2,400MW despite descending temperature due to rain. However, it may be noted that power shortfall has started rising from the level of 2,000MW and more is likely to take place soon the rainy weather is over. Present government took several initiatives to overcome the energy crisis and started enormous plan to develop not only energy resources but also energy conservation program.

And one of its initiatives is Prime Minister’s Energy Saver Program in which government introduced a long life alternative to the Incandescent bulb with the Compact Fluorescent bulb. The program of distributing energy savers amongst the consumers actually was initiated during the era of Pervez Musharraf, later on Zardari government failed to implement it, and now finally under the present government of Nawaz Sharif implementation of program started through power distribution companies, which generate electricity bills.

Under the National CFL Project — Prime Minister’s Energy Saver Program, the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) has signed a supply contract for 20 million Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) – with average life 10,000 hours with 2 years warranty – on a cost, insurance and place of destination basis with Philips Electrical Industries of Pakistan. Total cost of this project comes to around Rs2.8 billion, funded by the Asian Development Bank and L’Agence Française de Développement ( AFD) of France. The Ministry of Water and Power oversee overall project management and Pepco act as project coordinator; whereas distribution companies and the K- Electric act as executors. By this consumer will receive energy savers free of charge.

Under the program, electric companies distributing two Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs), generally called energy saver of 23 Watts to each domestic consumer, who would be required to hand over two used working Incandescent Lamps (ICLs) commonly known as yellow bulbs of 40, 60 or 100 Watts along with the complete requirement mentioned in CFL receiving voucher printed in the monthly electricity bills.

The plan foresees government savings of at least 1,000MW, which the government can then divert into the industrial sector for rejuvenating economic activity in Pakistan. It is estimated that only in Karachi, at the end of the project the K-Electric would be able to save 107 Megawatts across Karachi that would also be offsetting the supply and demand gap and reduction in the carbon footprints on sustainable basis to protect the environment.

The project will also yield Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) thus revenue of about $32 million will be returned by 2018. It will also help in reducing consumers bill Rs300 per CFL per annum. It is hoped that electricity saved will be sold to higher tariff consumers, generating additional revenue of approximately $29 million per year for distribution companies.

As compare to yellow bulb present energy savers bulbs showed a high potential.

  • CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than ICL. A 22 Watts CFL has about the same light output as a 100 Watts ICL. CFLs use 50-80% less energy than ICL. It is estimated that CFLs use approximately 25% the amount energy of their ICL counterparts. This saving is so significant it is estimated that a CFL can save enough money in electricity costs to offset the initial higher price within about 500 hours of use, which is typically less than one year.
  • Although initially more expensive, but one can save money in the long run because CFLs use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as ICL. A single 18 Watts CFL used in place of a 75 Watts ICL will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime.
  • In terms of rated service life, CFLs typically have 6,000- 15,000 hours, whereas standard ICL have a service life about 750-1,000 hours. However, it is observed that the life of a CFL is significantly shorter if it is turned on and off frequently. Also, because of the long-life of the CFL, it will be easier and more convenient to maintain because of the need for fewer replacements.
  • When we use ICLs, than the common use term is “Watts” to help us choose the right bulb for our indoor and outdoor lights. And as “Watts” refers to how much energy a bulb will use when lit, we understood the relative brightness levels between 60 Watts, 100 Watts or 150 Watt light bulbs. Now Wattage is no longer a reliable way to gauge a light bulb’s brightness. Lumens are the new standard for comparing light bulbs of all types. Lumens measures bulb’s actual brightness. A standard 60 Watts ICL, for example produces about 800 Lumens of light. By comparison, a CFL produces that same 800 Lumens using less than 15 Watts.

The CFL require much less Wattage than the ICL, which is why CFL bulbs are energy efficient and cost effective.

40 08-12 400-500
60 13-18 650-900
75-100 18-22 1100-1750
100 23-30 1800+
150 30-55 2780

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