UJALA is a Government of India initiative to distribute LED light bulbs at lower rates. The scheme was originally launched in January, 2015 as ‘National programme for LED based home and street lighting‘. The aim was to replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient LED lamps for residential and street lighting in India. Later the scheme was renamed as ‘Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA). Till 2016, more than 10 Crore lights were distributed under this scheme.
The current market price of LED bulbs range from Rs. 300 to Rs. 600. Under the scheme LED bulbs are being distributed at discounted price. Consumers will also get 3 years warranty. The price varies from state to state. For example: in Delhi, each bulb costs around Rs. 130 and in Odisha the price is just Rs. 85. The important point is that, these LED bulbs are not subsidized. The price is low due to bulk purchase through industry channels. So, UJALA is the largest non-subsidised LED distribution programme in the world.
An LED (light-emitting diode) lamp has multiple benefits over a traditional fluorescent or incandescent lamp. LEDs have a very long life – 50,000 hours, which is almost 50 times more than ordinary lamps, and 5 times that of CFLs. LED lamps also consume less electricity and there is no toxic material (CFLs contains mercury).
Government of India has recognized energy efficiency as a key mitigation strategy to achieve the goal of reduction of carbon emission by 30-35%. As part of the strategy, Govt. had decided to promote energy efficient lighting. On January 5, 2015, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched the ‘National Programme for LED based Home and Street lighting‘ with the aim to replace incandescent bulbs (ICLs) with LED lights for residential and street lighting. The aim was to install LED lamps for household and street lighting in 100 cities by March, 2016. On March 11, 2016, the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) was renamed UJALA, an acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All. UJALA scheme has played a significant role in creating awareness about energy efficient lights and also led to significant savings to the consumers who are using LED bulbs.
The objective of the UJALA scheme is to replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs for residential and street lighting in India. Through the efforts under UJALA and with the support from industry, the government of India aims to replace 77 crore inefficient bulbs by March 2019. This will lead to a significant reduction in carbon emission, peak energy load and energy consumption.
Estimated annual energy savings: 1,298 crore kWh
Estimated reduction of peak load: 2,600 MW
Estimated annual cost reduction in energy bills: Rs. 5,195 crore
Estimated annual greenhouse gas emission reduction: 1 crore tonnes of CO2
UJALA program is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Joint Venture Company of PSUs of Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, formed to implement energy efficiency projects in India. It is successfully running across 13 states in India namely Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Uttarakhand. In other selected states such as Assam and Tamil Nadu, LEDs are being supplied via the institutional distribution scheme.