Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte says the distribution of 400,000 LED bulbs to households across the country is not Government’s only bright idea.
Le Hunte said this initiave is part of an ongoing energy efficiency campaign that will help put money in people’s pockets and reduce Government electricitybill.
He was responding to last Monday’s budget presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert who promised to replace all incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient ones to 400,000 households free of charges in T&T and remove all taxes and duties on LED bulbs for five years.
But Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired back at Imbert, stating that people needed jobs and not bulbs.
She questioned if this was the brightest idea Government could have come with.
However, in 2013 then energy minister Kevin Ramnarine under the People’s Partnership government launched a light bulb swap programme.
Approximately 25 households from South, Central and North Trinidad were invited to swap their incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light to determine the difference with their electricity bills.
Ramnarine said his government had hoped to phase out the use of incandescent bulbs.
Yesterday, Le Hunte said the LED bulb is one of a series of energy saving initiatives by his ministry to help promote energy efficiency and conservation among citizens.
He said Government would start the balling rolling by installing LED bulbs beginning at Tower C Port-of-Spain International Waterfront which would help reduce the State’s electricity bill by millions of dollars.
The use of LED bulbs, Le Hunte said can also reduce a person’s electricity bill by 25 per cent and it last ten times longer than an incandescent bulb.
“This is a good thing for the country. It’s a pity that some of us when we don’t seem to understand things we seem to trivialise it. And that is unfortunate,” Le Hunte said.
This move, he said will result in a win-win situation for citizens, the country and environment.
“We have to reduce our CO2 emissions,” he insisted
The Government, he said was yet to come up with a plan to distribute the bulbs and were looking at models from other countries.
T&TEC customers may be either asked to bring in their old bulbs which would be replaced by new ones or the new bulbs can be deliver at the homes of customers.
He said there will be a cap to the number of bulbs distributed to each household.
“We are not the first country that is doing this. The proper tendering practices need to be put in place....and we will do that to ensure that the population benefit from this initiative. It’s all part of changing people’s behaviour. I have recognised how people are sometimes sceptical. You sometimes have to jump-start something. This is will jump-start an action that will be beneficial.”
Asked if Government will source an international or local supplier for the bulbs, Le Hunte said we should not get ahead of ourselves, stating that all procurement measures will be put in place by the Government to get good quality bulbs at the most competitive price.
He assured the process will be transparent.