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Speech By Director General of PURA on the Launching of the CFL Pilot Project

Sep 12, 2008, 7:35 AM

The Secretary of State for Energy (DOSE)

Honourable National Assembly Member

Chairman, PURA Board of Commissioners

Permanent Secretary, DOSE

Permanent Secretary, DOSFEA

Director of Energy

Community Leaders and Residents of Kanifing South

Members of the Press

Fellow Colleagues and Staff of PURA

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen


On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of PURA I welcome you all to this event. We are here to mark the formal launching of the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) Pilot Project. The aim of this project is to raise public awareness about energy efficiency by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of using simple alternative technologies such as CFLs for lighting our homes and premises. It will also highlight the collaborate efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that energy efficiency as a national policy objective, championed by the Department of State for Energy, is attained.

Some of you may be aware that since January this year PURA as part of its mandate to Inform, Educate and Communicate to consumers about the use of regulated services has been campaigning about energy efficiency at homes. This has been done through radio, the TV and the

print media in the Greater Banjul Area and a community radio station that reaches consumers beyond the Greater Banjul Area.

In the next few weeks we intend to consolidate this media campaign about energy efficiency after the airing of this pilot on TV, radio and in the print media.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Compact Fluorescent Lamps consume less electricity than regular incandescent bulbs. Indeed incandescent bulbs whilst cheaper, suffer the disadvantage of converting most of the electric energy into heat rather than light. This is easily realised by simply touching them. For the average household buying a bulb means walking into a corner-shop and purchasing an incandescent bulb for just Ten Dalasis irrespective of the wattage, ranging from 40Watts to 1 00 Watts.

However it goes without saying that such a choice that you make can translate into significant financial consequences in terms of your monthly electricity consumption. The Project we are about to pilot today will demonstrate to consumers and the public at large the benefits of switching from Incandescent Lamps to CFLs. These benefits include savings in electricity consumption, a significant reduction in heat generated by lighting, the conservation of electricity to connect more people to the network and the mitigation of the negative consequences of global climate change. 

Throughout the design and implementation of the project, we have worked closely with all stakeholders especially NA WEC without whom it would not have been possible to execute this project today. We have also taken the extra care to ensure that the CFLs used in this pilot project are of the highest quality. When purchasing CFLs we must caution you that there are indeed substandard bulbs in the market and these don't last long. Please invest wisely in your choice of bulbs and ask for advice from PURA or the Department of State for Energy on the right quality of bulbs to be purchased.

This pilot project is going to install 2000 CFLs free of charge in this community to replace inefficient incandescent bulbs. Each CFL bulb has a lifetime of 6000 hours (or 3 years). The immediate impact of this based on our projections, would save the average household between 200 - 300 dalasi every month. Furthermore since you are all being served by the same transformer substation, reducing the load on this

substation would allow other communities elsewhere without electricity to use the electricity saved by your community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I also add that the engineers at PURA together with NAWEC would be monitoring the community's consumption for the next 3 months and will come out with a report on how to replicate the project on a national scale. Thus your community offers us a unique opportunity for the future and I hope that the lessons learnt from this pilot will influence the need for us to apply this universally within The Gambia.

I implore all of us to use energy wisely not only to save money but also to ensure that we use this limited resource equitably. These include closing your fridge doors after use, switching off appliances like fans, lights and TVs amongst others, when not in use.

As NAWEC consumers you do not only use electricity but you also use water which is another natural resource that we should use wisely and sparingly.

We thank NAWEC for their cooperation and I would, on behalf of PURA, like to express our gratitude to the Honourable Secretary of State for Energy - Mr Ousman Jammeh for his open and objective appreciation, continued personal support and understanding of the challenges the sector faces. I believe that through continued dialogue and discourse we will collectively manage the challenges we have and this pilot is testimony to the fact that we are progressing in the right way collectively

Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for coming and indeed the members of the community for letting us into your homes to replace inefficient incandescent bulbs with CFLs.

Thank you for your time and kind attention.