The main challenge facing the CEB management by September 2011 was the supply of power during the first six months of this year. There were two options that were considered. Going in for an additional 100 MW supplementary power or resort to power conservation methods. Going in for supplementary power would add on an additional burden of Rs. 13,000 to 17,000. Hence the CEB and the ministry of power and energy came up with the bold plan of efficient energy management instead of constantly resorting to supplementary power sources.
Therefore focusing on power conservation the minister said that the current power conservation drive has proved to be a great success in efficient energy management.
Taking all these issues into consideration, we decided to take a bold stance in attempting to manage the demand instead of looking for supplementary means of power. We launched a program in February at the BMICH in February with the aim of efficiently managing the power capacity that we already possess. We launched this program to better manage the 6000 MW capacity that we have. Then we began managing the household electricity consumption. This was a bit of an arduous task as the fuel prices were also increased. In comparison to 2010 the fuel costs have doubled. In 2010 our generation cost was Rs. 82 billion which sky rocketed to Rs. 163 billion by 2012, but the tariff remained the same. However the consumers eventually had to pay a fuel surcharge in order to compensate for the increase in fuel prices. Hence there was a 23% increase per unit charge on the fuel bills. Some had to stomach an increase of around 30%, to 40%. The unit charge that was at Rs. 13.00 increased to Rs. 16.00 with the addition of the surcharge. This increase too was a great burden on the people. These were the main factors that prompted us to pursue better energy management methods that would provide some consolation to the consumers.
A special program was launched on 01 April, in line with the power conservation drive ‘Today for tomorrow’ under the purview of the ministry of power and energy, where over 4.6 million consumers could win concessions on their electricity bills.
Consumers, who show a reduction of 20% in their electricity bills in comparison to the March 2012 bill, will gain full exemption of that month’s electricity bill. Those consumers who show a reduction of 10% of their electricity bill could enjoy 50% off their electricity bills. All electricity consumers are eligible to register for this scheme. Consumers must show a reduction in their April, May or June bills in order to receive the concessions, or total exemption of the month’s electricity bill.
Accordingly 1000 consumers who show a 20% reduction in their electricity bills will have a month’s electricity bill written off by either CEB or LECO. Similarly 5000 consumers who show a 10% reduction in their electricity bills will receive a 50% reduction on a month’s electricity bill.
Hence 1000 persons who had reduced 20% of their electricity bill value in relation to the month of March were chosen to receive a month free electricity.
Hence 25 of those chosen were symbolically awarded their token rewards at a ceremony held at the BMICH on 31 May.