Buy good gadgets, get power for new house

Homeowners looking for new electricity connection may soon have to submit proof that large electrical appliances like refrigerators, air-conditioners and fans installed in their houses conform to the five-star energy rating provided by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to get power supply sanctioned. This directive was recently issued by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) to the electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) as a way to boost energy conservation.

In its tariff orders issued on May 14, KERC said it had earlier directed that new installations be provided power supply only after the company ensured that five-star rated appliances had been installed. In addition, KERC had also said that new streetlight installations be supplied with power only if LED lights were in use. “While the consumers cannot be ordered to buy energy-efficient appliances, the ESCOM can be directed by KERC to provide new connections to only those who do,” said KERC chairperson M K Shankarlinge Gowda.

This year, the KERC has, in a directive, pulled up Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) for not submitting details of how many new streetlights were provided power, and if all of them had LED bulbs. “This shows that BESCOM has not implemented the directive in letter and spirit, to take forward the initiative of conservation of energy,” the commission said, adding that BESCOM will now have to submit a quarterly compliance report detailing action taken on new connections without BEE five-star rated appliances on the consumer premises.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, BESCOM Managing Director P Rajendra Cholan said, “There are two aspects to this. We are also looking at the energy efficiency ratings of transformers being used by BESCOM as well as using five-star rated appliances at all offices of BESCOM. We will look into the directive regarding providing new connections to consumers who opt for energy-efficient appliances.”

Cholan added that for BESCOM’s efforts to procure energy efficient transformers, there was an issue with supply. “Not much manufacturing of four- or five-star rated transformers is happening. We are targeting five-star rated transformers for urban areas and four-star for rural areas,” he said.