Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

While Tsirang residents are in support of the dzongkhag tshogdu’s recent decision to replace incandescent (CFL) bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, some say that it should be implemented phase-wise in consultation with the public.

Last month, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu unanimously voted to replace outdated incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent light bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce power consumption, which according to Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC) manager in Tsirang, Dili Ram Adhikari, could save 76 percent in energy consumption.

Except for outdoor lighting, many residents said that they use LED bulbs to light their homes.  However, in the rural villages, people still use CFL bulbs.

A resident of Kilthorthang, Juma Kanta Katel, said that in his rented apartment, he uses CFL bulbs, but he uses LED bulbs in his shop in Damphu. “I heard about the DT’s decision, but it should be followed with awareness programmes. People in rural areas are not aware of the benefits of LED bulbs.”

He added: “The LED bulbs are expensive, compared to CFL bulbs. People from low-income groups might need a subsidy.”

A Doonglang resident said that he switched to LED bulbs because they consume less energy and make the home look brighter.

A resident in Padtshaling, Chimi Dema, said that she used CFL bulbs in the past, but the bulbs got damaged easily due to heat. “The power consumption was high and I had to pay about Nu 200 a month.”

It has been months since she has had to pay that amount, as the energy consumption of LED bulbs is near zero. “The LED bulbs are expensive but they last longer than CFL bulbs.”

Similarly, a Phuensumgang resident, Dema, said that her electricity bills for the past three months have been very low since she switched to LED bulbs. Her neighbors have also switched to LED bulbs.

“Energy consumption of CFL bulbs is high,” she said.

Ugyen Wangmo from Mendrelgang gewog said that she uses LED bulbs because they are durable.

A resident of Damphu town said that when she first moved in the town, her homes had CFL bulbs but she replaced them with LED bulbs. “Switching the bulbs out cost me a few thousand ngultrum, but I like clean energy, which is refreshing.”

It costs Nu 250 for a LED bulb and Nu 20 for CFL bulb in Damphu town.

A hardware shop owner in Damphu town, Parshu Ram Chamlagai, said that the demand for LED bulbs has been higher.  He, however, said that CFL bulbs are useful in poultry farms for heat and warmth.

To switch to LED bulbs, he said that the old wiring system needs to be replaced. “The old wiring system might damage LED bulbs.”

Edited by Tshering Palden