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Save Power and Cut on Costs with BijliBachao!

Shyamal Dave
10th Aug 2012
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While setting up their house in Mumbai, Manisha & Abhishek Jain made sure that they were choosing right technologies and were setting/using appliances in the right way. All this made sure that they were spending quite reasonably on their electricity bills even though the tariffs were really high in Mumbai. Comparing electricity bills with neighbors with similar appliance ownership and usage patterns, they realized that they were actually doing much better. This prompted them to think of ways with which they can help consumers in the country to reduce electricity bills and contribute in bridging the widening demand-supply gap in the country.

Abhishek is a graduate from IIT Bombay who chose to quit his ten year old job with a big four consulting firm to use his skills in IT and management for sustainability. Energy efficiency offers least cost measures for sustainable development and hence was an obvious choice to begin with. His vision got coupled with Manisha’s experience working in energy efficiency sector since many years with an added qualification of a BEE certified energy auditor, and they turned idea into something material: BijliBachao.

They developed softwares and published articles so as to create awareness among people about:

1) Their electricity bills

2) Power Consumption of various appliances they own

3) Power Consumption of appliances people are trying to buy

4) Understand electricity efficient technologies available in the market

5) Understand better and efficient ways of handling and using various appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters, fans, computers, etc.

The distribution utilities in different States offer variety of programs for efficient appliances such as CFLs, tubelights, fans, air-conditioners but they often complain very low response rate for such programs. Most of these programs go unnoticed and the investment in planning and implementing these programs do not get desired rate of returns. Reaching out to electricity consumers to make them aware of the importance of saving electricity is a daunting task for any distribution utility. BijliBachao wishes to address this pain point.

Currently they have a lot of knowledge base for various appliances and a few calculators for product comparison/evaluation on refrigerators, ceiling fans and water heaters. Currently the calculators are for domestic tariffs. They are working to make system work for commercial tariff as well and also they plan to add lot more appliances in near future: air conditioners, computers (notebooks as well as desktops), lights and various other appliances. They are also working on creating surveys using which they can judge a unit (family or commercial) profile and suggest what should be their ideal electricity bill (as compared to the data they collect as part of the survey) and give some personalized suggestions on how they can reduce it. They also plan to include appliance recommendations based on power consumption on the website.

Monetization plans:

1)  They are trying to create a platform on which they can run DSM (Demand Side Management) programs along with utilities for the residential and small office customers. To do this, they will partner with utilities (or electricity distribution companies) and help them manage their DSM.

2)  They also have plans to work with manufacturers of energy efficient appliances and products that can save electricity by helping them connect to the masses.

They would like to tell people that they pay money not just to buy the appliances but also to use the appliances. By buying efficient appliances and using them correctly they not just save electricity but also save money. Life cycle cost of efficient appliances is lesser than that of inefficient appliances and they have seen it while working with some of the visitors on BijliBachao for e.g. an energy efficient tubelight (T5 tubelight) saves enough electricity to payback for itself in less than a year and it runs for 3-4 years saving electricity for the remaining 2-3 years.

While working with some of the residential societies in Mumbai they observed that societies spend 80% of their electricity bills on pumps and 30-40% of it can be saved by installing energy efficient pumps and extra cost is recovered in about 2 years and the pumps run for 10 plus years. So they are trying to help people understand what is the life cycle cost of owning the appliances.

Spendthrift on electricity, try cutting costs with BijliBachao!

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