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The Climate Group's policy appeal driving India’s lighting revolution

05 April 2012
The Climate Group's policy appeal driving India’s lighting revolution

NEW DELHI: India’s Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has accepted a policy appeal made by The Climate Group which will help accelerate LED lighting upscale across the nation. 

The Climate Group made the appeal to the OERC at a public hearing in Orissa last month. The appeal requested the introduction of financial incentives, subsidies and funding mechanisms to encourage the adoption of LED technology for public lighting.

OERC acknowledged and appreciated the appeal, and is now considering announcing reduced tariffs for LED street lighting.

In India, tariffs for electricity are fixed by state electricity regulatory commissions; in the case of Orissa it is OERC. Every year, distribution companies (DISCOMs) present their petitions to raise various tariffs to the relevant regulatory commissions. Objections are then accepted, and the relevant stakeholders called upon to represent their case in a public hearing. 

The Climate Group argued that OERC should set reduced tariffs for urban local bodies that adopt  LED for street lighting, to reduce electricity consumption and costs.

The appeal request letters highlight West Bengalas a successful example of LED leadership. The Indian state recently announced special tariffs to promote the low carbon street lighting, reducing tariffs to Rs 3.38 per unit for LED street lighting compared to Rs 5.03 per unit for conventional lighting. 

Orissa is currently in a power deficit, and the uptake of energy efficient LED technology offers a key opportunity for the state to make big electricity savings. 

At the public hearing, stakeholders were keen to adopt LED technology. Main barriers identified were lack of capital subsidy, and the need for rebate on tariff mechanism.

The Climate Group is currently working with the British High Commission to enable the Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal to build the necessary policies for large scale adoption of LEDs in street lighting. Various policy influencing activities, such as the formation of a steering committee, state level workshops with senior government officials and the preparation of a white paper on supporting policies for large scale adoption, are already underway.

Sharing insights from the hearing, Prodyut Mukherjee, Technology Manager India, The Climate Group, says: “The active consideration of announcing reduced tariffs for LED street lighting by OERC for urban local bodies in Odisha is a positive step, and will save enormous amount of energy and public money, simultaneously improving the quality of light in the streets in Odisha. It is through such critically effective steps, The Climate Group shall continue to inspire India and the rest of the world’s decision-makers to take action for a Clean Revolution.” 

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