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UJALA Scheme

The fundamental achievement of one of government's first energy efficiency pan-India programme is reflected by UJALA or the LED bulb programme. This simple act of change of one light bulb to LED at South Block Prime Minister's office heralded a movement in the entire country for considering the same change. The UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) scheme was launched on January 5, 2015 by hon'ble Prime Minister of India Sh. Narendra Modi.

In this initiative, the nodal organisation, EESL, undertook the task of setting up phase-wise LED distribution centers across the nation to provide people with affordable LED bulbs on either upfront basis or through on-bill financing. After procuring massive quantity of LEDs from indigenous manufacturers, these were sold to public through an extensive chain of distribution kiosks. Due to bulk LED bulb procurement by EESL, a healthy competition rose among the manufacturers and this brought down the prices of LED bulbs in India from a range of about Rs. 300 - Rs. 400 to a range of Rs. 75 - Rs. 95 per LED bulb. EESL transformed the market for energy efficient lighting in India in a span of about a year. The latest price at which EESL procures the LED bulbs is about Rs. 55 and then distributes among the grid connected consumers after adding the taxes and overhead expenses. The dominant bottleneck hindering adoption was pricing and now it stood crushed. The earlier costly LED bulbs are now available at an extremely cheaper price due to massive government intervention.

As on August 17, 2016, over 14 crore LEDs stand distributed under the UJALA scheme, which is resulting in more than 5.2 crore kWh energy savings per day. This way we have avoided a peak demand of about 3,851 MW in India and are leading to a reduction in carbon footprint of about 42,681 tonnes per day. Not only this, as per state specific surveys, we have overshot our commitment of energy savings by about 32% per bulb than what was initially promised. Social surveying strongly suggests public contentment with the scheme and people openly express their happiness after witnessing reduction in their electricity bills. Easy replacement through a unique number in electricity bill gives more power and independence to the consumer. By 2019, EESL targets to sell about 77 crore LED bulbs all across the country.

Objectives of National LED Programme

  • Promote the use of the most efficient lighting technology at affordable rates to consumers
  • Reduce energy consumption in lighting which helps DISCOMs to manage peak demand
  • Enhance the awareness of consumers about the efficacy of using energy efficient appliances
  • Increase the demand of LED lights by aggregating requirements across the country and reduce costs; in fact cost have already reduced over 80% in last 2 years
  • Encourage and support domestic manufacturing of LED bulbs by sustaining demand and making it consistent with the ‘Make in India’ policy of the Government
  • Create robust arrangements for monitoring and verification of energy savings in a simple and transparent manner.

Progress till date

As on August 23, 2016, EESL has distributed over 14.4 crore LEDs in 17 states and UTs. The costs of LEDs have come down drastically over the last 2.5 years as indicated below:

S.No Date of Procurement Quantity Specs Price
1 January, 2014 7.5 lakh BIS - 7W Rs. 310 (8 year technical warranty)
2 August, 2014 30 lakh BIS - 7W Rs. 204 (5 year technical warranty)
3 November, 2014 30 lakh BIS - 7W Rs. 149 (5 year technical warranty)
4 January, 2015 80 lakh BIS - 7W Rs. 104 (3 year technical warranty)
5 March, 2015 80 lakh BIS - 7W Rs. 82 (3 year technical warranty)
6 June, 2015 5 crore BIS - 7W Rs. 70 (3 year technical warranty)
7 November, 2015 3 crore BIS - 9W Rs. 72.4 (3 year technical warranty)
8 January, 2016 3 crore BIS - 9W Rs. 65 (3 year technical warranty)
9 April, 2016 5 crore BIS - 9W Rs. 55 (3 year technical warranty)

Last updated on 23 Sep 2016