NamPower has chosen to distribute on its own energy-saving bulbs in the final phase of a project launched in September 2016 that was meant to distribute one million free bulbs to households by May 2017.
The project was meant to save 30 megawatts of power.
Figures provided to the Windhoek Observer this week, show that only 452,639 bulbs were distributed in the initial phase, leaving a deficit of 547,361 bulbs not distributed, far short of the one million target.
The Windhoek Observer reported last year that NamPower had already spent N$128 million out of the N$135 million budgeted for the 1 million LED campaign despite installing less than half of the promised energy-saving bulbs.
NamPower’s Communications Manager, Tangeni Kambangula, insisted this week that the two companies contracted to distribute the bulbs did not fail in their mandate, despite the power utility choosing to implement the project itself.
NamPower had contracted NamEnergy Resources and Lex Technologies (PTY) Ltd to execute the campaign by implementing a door-to-door replacement programme.
“NamPower contracted two companies to install the LED bulbs in homes. The bulb distribution/installation in homes was from 5 September 2016 to 23 June 2017 as per the contract between NamPower and the two contracted companies. It is important to note that the contractors did not fail in delivering on their mandate, despite some challenges experienced,” she said.
“The tender execution period ended. NamPower is carrying out the distribution of the final batch of bulbs using its internal resources.”
She said 196,447 bulbs will be distributed in the final phase and this will bring the total of bulbs distributed to 649,086, which is 350,914 short of the one million target.
Kambangula said NamPower was still to determine if the campaign will achieve the energy saving target of 30MW.
“The process of verifying the savings achieved is methodological and requires time and resources to carry out.”
She said periodical reports on savings attained from 1 January 2017 to 31 May 2017 showed that peak time demand savings amounted to 2.460 MW and total energy impact of 3 314.980MWh during the weekday evening peaks.
“The full impact of the campaign is yet to be determined.”
Kambangula said challenges such as the unwillingness of some homeowners to allow the installers’ access into their homes to install the bulbs and the unavailability of people at houses during installation times, which happened mostly during working hours, had impacted the project.
“These are part of the reasons why there was a change in strategy to distribute the bulbs, whereby instead of going house to house to install the bulbs, distribution teams will be stationed at fixed points on specified dates, in different towns from 08h00 till 17:00 as advertised in the print media, radio and on the campaign’s Facebook page.”
LED bulbs are the latest in the energy efficient technology and they use far less electricity to provide similar level of light.
They have a lifespan of 15,000 hours (which equates to 10 years or more provided that they burn for 4 hours a day) lasting much longer than the incandescent bulb.