Happy birthday UJALA! A look at 7 years journey of affordable LED distribution

UJALA scheme envisaged at providing affordable LED distribution and saving on the electricity bill, has completed 7 years of an energy efficient journey
Happy birthday UJALA! A look at 7 years journey of affordable LED distribution

New Delhi: UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) has completed its 7 years-long journey of energy-efficient and affordable LED distribution. In a short span, the programme has evolved to be the world's largest zero-subsidy domestic lighting programme that addresses concerns like high electrification costs and high emissions that result from inefficient lighting. As of today, more than 36.78 crore LEDs have been distributed across the country. The success of the programme – which has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people – lies in its inimitable strategic approach to energy efficiency.

UJALA led distribution scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 5, 2015.

UJALA succeeded in bringing down the retail price of LED bulbs from Rs 300-350 per bulb to Rs 70-80 per bulb. Apart from making affordable energy accessible to all, the programme also resulted in massive energy savings. As of today, 47,778 Million kWh per annum energy has been saved. 9,565 MW of peak demand has been avoided, along with 3,86 crore tonnes of reduction in CO2 emissions.

UJALA has been readily adopted by all the states. It has helped in reducing annual household electricity bills. Consumers have been able to save money, improve their quality of life, and contribute to India's economic growth and prosperity.

Under the programme, the government has ensured transparency and encouraged competition by e-procurement of goods and services. This has resulted in a significant reduction in transaction cost and time, enhancing process efficiency. With UJALA, the cost of a LED bulb has come down by 85 percent. This, in turn, has led to a much larger pool of bidders, enhanced quality of the product and availability of better specifications for the consumers. Leveraging increased industry competition and mass procurement, EESL has adopted an innovative procurement strategy that resulted in well-known benefits and is now known as the USP of Program Ujala.

UJALA – Other noteworthy achievements–

UJALA has been instrumental in delivering significant environmental benefits. What's more, it has also helped in enhancing consumer awareness of financial and environmental benefits associated with energy efficiency.

•   It provides an impetus to the domestic lighting industry. It encourages Make in India as domestic manufacturing of LED bulbs has increased from 1 lakh per month to 40 million per month

•   UJALA provides economies of scale to manufacturers through regular bulk procurement. This enables manufacturers to bring down the cost of LEDs for the retail segment as well. The procured price has been reduced by almost 90 percent between 2014 and 2017, from Rs 310 to Rs 38.

•   The programme has also garnered attention from top management schools of India. It is now a part of the Leadership case study in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. Furthermore, it is also under consideration for being included in the curriculum of Harvard Business School

UJALA, energy-efficient, cost-saving lighting has been made available to the middle class and lower-middle-class consumers. As part of its inclusive growth strategy to enable growth in lower-income communities, EESL has also enrolled Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for the distribution of LED bulbs under the UJALA programme.

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