Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

In what could be a bold move towards energy efficiency, Tsirang Dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) unanimously voted yesterday to replace outdated incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in the dzongkhag.

Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC) manager in Tsirang, Dili Ram Adhikari, said that the initiative would save 76 percent in energy consumption, which can then be exported.

He said that although LED bulbs are more costly compared to CFL bulbs, they consume less energy and will contribute to reducing the burden of high electric bills for users. “Currently, people buy cheap bulbs that need to be changed several times a year,” he said, adding that an LED bulb can last for up to eight years.

The Consumer Energy Alliance reported that the longer lifespan is found to improve cost savings for consumers, and also helps the environment through increased energy efficiency.

According to online sources, LED bulbs are designed to be a more energy-efficient light source as they use a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. LED lights produce light up to 90 percent more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs, and are 80 percent more efficient than CFLs.

 This, Dili Ram Adhikari said, is because LED bulbs require much less voltage than incandescent or CFL bulbs.

Records estimate that in 2019 around 700,000 incandescent bulbs light about 140,000 households across the country, consuming about 168,000 units of energy, worth Nu 390,000 every day. “Replacing all incandescent bulbs in the country could save up to 61.32M units, worth about Nu 142 million.”

Tsirang dzongdag Pema, who encouraged the initiative, said that the decision to switch is an important move towards achieving energy efficiency through reduced consumption.  “Incandescent bulbs are conventional bulbs that impart more harm than benefits.”

However, local government officials suggested that the people should be given a certain time period to switch to LED bulbs.

Edited by Tashi Dema