Escom has saved 20.5 megawatts following the distribution of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) commonly known as energy saver bulbs in the country, public relations manager Kitty Chingota has said.
Chingota, responding to a Business News questionnaire on the progress of the exercise, said so far the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has distributed 651 114 energy saver bulbs.
She said the exercise, expected to help Escom to save up to 30 megawatts of power, has been completed in the countryâ€™s major cities and it is now moving into rural areas.
Escom is on a countrywide installation of CFLs under the British Department for International Development (DfID)â€“sponsored Energy Efficient lighting Project (EELP) in which two million bulbs were procured.
In this project, 1.3 million CFLs are being installed free of charge to more than 200 000 households and the remaining 700 000 bulbs will be sold to commercial and industrial customers at a subsidised price which is yet to be decided.
DfID provided a grant of Â£3 million (about K1.5 billion) for the project.
Chingota also confirmed reports that installation of CFLs stalled, but she could not say the cause. She, however, said installers are now back in the field to continue the exercise.
She said that the installation exercise is estimated to be completed by October 31 2012, contrary to earlier plans that it would take three to four months to replace the ordinary bulbs.
Chingota also could not say when the distribution exercise through retail services will start.
The energy saver bulbs are of high quality with an extended operating life of 10 000 hours and a warranty of two years.
Escom has always argued that using energy saver bulbs reduces the lighting load and apart from that, the customer benefits in terms of reduced bills compared to ordinary bulbs.
An average energy saver bulb uses only 15 watts of power compared to 60 and 100 watts for an ordinary bulb.