BENGALURU: While green buildings are the new mantra, our high-security government buildings appear to be the worst offenders, gulping thousands of watts of energy.
The consumption of power is so high that a worried electrical wing of the public works development department wrote to the government to use electronic ballast (choke) instead of the present copper ballast system in tube light fittings, to save energy.
The communication comes in the wake of chief minister Siddaramaiah recently asking the department on the measures taken to make Vidhana Soudha a green building. The maintenance of all government buildings in the state, including electrical fittings, is carried out by the public works development .
Following the CM's direction, the results of the energy audit conducted recently has indicated that as many as 22,879 tube lights have been fitted in seven high-security buildings - Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha, MS Building, Legislators' Home, Raj Bhavan,Visvesvaraya Towers and the Karnataka High Court.
These tube lights alone are consuming more than 12,951 KWH power every day. Going by the working hours in these buildings - morning to evening - the consumption of energy is heavy, experts maintain.
As a measure to reduce power consumption, the public works development has come up with a solution to replace electronic chokes in place of the existing copper chokes."By fitting electronic ballasts in tube lights, up to 40% of energy can be saved. In numbers, it comes up to 5,637 KW and in monetary terms, more than Rs 10 lakh can be saved every month. A study is being conducted to replace electronic chokes and the operation will soon be executed," TN Chikkarayappa, secretary, PWD, told TOI.
Explaining the advantages of electronic chokes, the official said besides power savings, there will be no flickering, noise, heating, longer life, warranty up to 8 years and reduction in monthly bills. "It would cost up to Rs 2.80 crore to replace electronic ballasts and turn these structures into green buildings. The amount spent can be recovered in 20 months through savings," Chikkarayappa said.
The choke is used to start the tube light and regulate current and voltage during operations. The government has experimented this technology in PWD headquarters at KR Circle and other buildings including KMF, Bescom, Hescom, KPTCL and some government libraries.