CEB To Charge For Street Lights
By Dinouk Colombage
The Ceylon Electricity Board is planning on imposing a fee on the public for the use of streetlights, according to the Minister of Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka.
Ranawaka said that the Ministry was putting forth this plan as they had found that over 0.25 gigawatts of electricity is spent on the streetlights. “We have set a target of reducing energy consumption in the country by 1.5 gigawatts a day. The reduction in streetlights is one way we could ensure we meet this target”, he explained.
Ranawaka added that currently street lights were being operated free of charge, which means neither the public nor the local council employees are concerned with switching them off when not needed. “The only way we can make people conserve energy is by charging them. They will then become more cautious over energy consumption”, he said.
CEB Chairman, Dr. Wimaladharama Abeywickrama, said that they had made the request from all municipal councils to take steps to turn off 50% of all street lights. “While we have no authority in this area, we are requesting that the council takes these steps to ensure a conservation of energy”, he said.
Ranawaka said that along with the street lights being turned off, the ministry was also going to appoint energy auditors who would monitor the commercial sector and suggest ways in which energy consumption could be reduced. “Currently the 1,500 factories and the commercial districts in the country use nearly 40% of our total energy. We plan on reducing this by 10%”, he said.
The minister added that this initiative was already underway, with most bulk consumers working with the ministry to conserve energy. He added that they had been forced to take such steps due to the failing rain in the catchment areas. “If the North-Eastern rains do not arrive we will not be able to use hydro-energy beyond October”, he explained.