Monday, 30th October 2017

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Energy audit to trim civic power bill

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By DEEPANKAR GANGULY
  • Published 7.01.09
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The civic body is set to conduct an energy audit in its offices, waterworks facilities and drainage pumping stations to cut down power bills.

“Saving on power bills means more funds for better illumination of the streets. An energy audit is necessary to reduce the bill. Once we finalise the decision to conduct the audit, we will select the agency,” said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

Universities, private organisations and government agencies have offered to conduct the audit, according to civic officials.

“The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) pays a power bill of around Rs 11.25 crore to CESC every month. If we can cut down power usage by 20 per cent, at the end of the year we will save Rs 27 crore,” said municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

Short-term training programmes for officials and engineers in the lighting department is the other step the civic body is considering to cut down expenditure on power, added the commissioner.

Waterworks, booster pumping stations, drainage pumping stations and street lights are the civic facilities that consume the most power, said chief engineer (lighting) Pradip Jyoti Biswas.

There are 1.26 lakh lamp posts with 2.32 lakh lamps on 1,700-plus streets across Calcutta. About Rs 30 crore of taxpayers’ money is used by the civic body to foot the street lighting bill every year.

Less than 35,000 of the lamp posts are fitted to automatic timers, according to a civic engineer. “Over 28,000 automatic timers do not work properly but have not been replaced. The timers were made locally and are not up to scratch.”

Civic employees who are supposed to operate over 70 per cent of the street lights do not turn up on time. Hence, many stretches of the roads remain dark at night and illuminated during the day.

The lighting department, said Biswas, wants to try out power-saver compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in some areas.

The lamps need to be fitted in special sockets so that they are not stolen.