Struggle to shed light on LEDs
State utilities and the private sector are continuing their efforts to encourage consumers to switch to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from high energy-consuming fluorescent lights, say industry officials.
Both sides have been promoting the use of LEDs in big buildings and small residences for four years.
The government even provides soft loans and project finance to building owners and residents to encourage them to switch to LEDs.
But their efforts have failed in the face of cheap, low quality fluorescent lights imported from China, which are now being dumped onto the Thai market, said Thai energy policymakers.
Speaking at “Thailand Energy Efficiency Week 2017” held at Impact Convention Centre yesterday, those in the LED business said three times as many Thais use cheap, imported lights from China rather than their products.
Industry officials said it is largely due to the recent economic slowdown that has force consumers to switch to using cheaper lighting, although the former can cut power consumption by up to 80%.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) said a lack of regulations in the sector has allowed importers of cheap lights to gobble up market share.
“People know LEDs are super powersaving equipment, but the economic slowdown has prompted them to select other lighting for their homes,” said Sathit Sukanant, director of the demand side implementation division at Egat
Only premium grade residential and office buildings are selecting LEDs, he said.
Mr Sathit said many building owners don’t think about long-term savings when it comes to power consumption, only considering prices when purchasing new lamps.
He said LEDs need more time to gain ground with customers.
“It could be like the power-saving campaign for refrigerators and air conditioners, which also took a long time to work before people start realising why it was beneficial to select power-saving models,” he said.
Philips Electronics (Thailand), the country’s top electrical manufacturer, said it is now working with state agencies as the consider measures to compel consumers to switch to LEDs, as the voluntary system is not working.