Economies of scale are at work to bring down the cost of LED bulbs for consumers. However, consumers can only avail themselves of the affordable LED bulbs through public sector enterprise Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL)

Under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), EESL is procuring bulbs from manufacturers across the industry at rates lower than that in the retail market. Such bulbs are then distributed to customers with a valid electricity connection.

“The consumer can obtain the bulb in two formats – upfront payment and on-bill finance scheme. The total cost of the LED bulb under the DELP scheme is between ₹100 and ₹105. If a consumer wishes to purchase the bulb through the on-bill financing option, they are required to pay only ₹10 for each bulb and the remaining ₹95 will be added to his/her electricity bill, spread over a duration of 10 months,” an EESL spokesperson told BusinessLine .

The spokesperson added that the procurement is from manufacturers across the board but there are guidelines for quality and technical specifications.

Currently, the bulbs under the DELP scheme are available only through physical distribution centres of EESL in Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. For manufacturers, the bulk orders are helping bring down the cost of the bulbs even in the open market.

For example, the minimum cost of an LED bulb by manufacturer Compact Lamps is now ₹225 for a 3W bulb in the open market. On online shopping portals like Flipkart and Amazon, LED bulbs are available at anywhere between ₹99 and ₹190 for 3W, 7W and 12 W bulbs.

A 7W LED bulb provides as much light as a 60W incandescent or traditional bulb, while being 88 per cent more efficient in electricity consumption.

“The DELP scheme is providing a steady order which helps is driving economies of scale at our manufacturing plants. Even by selling the bulbs at cost to EESL, we are able to make up the margins by the difference in the open market,” an official at a domestic lightings manufacturer told BusinessLine .

The official added that if the scheme continues and consumers of LED bulbs increases, open market prices can soon come down further.