KATHMANDU, Oct 17: The maximum retail price (MRP) of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs has come down by as much as 20 percent, according to retailers and wholesalers.
The drop in price of energy-efficient bulbs has come on the eve of Tihar -- the festival of lights - when the demand for lights grows manifolds.
Retailers told Republica that they were trying to sell as much bulbs as possible as offices and individual houses change bulbs at this time of year.
“Prices of both branded as well as non-branded cheaper Chinese LED bulbs have come down by about a fifth,” Sudarshan Prasad Paudyal, first vice president of Federation of Electrical Entrepreneurs of Nepal, told Republica.
Traders have attributed the drop in prices of LED bulbs in the domestic market to decline in price of these energy-efficient bulbs in the international market. However, an official at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), seeking anonymity, said traders have reduced the price of LED bulbs to clear their stock due to fall in demand after the NEA signed an agreement to import Philips and Osram LED bulbs from an Indian government agency through a G2G agreement.
NEA was planning to sell the bulbs at Rs 140 per unit which is nearly half the market price. But the plan has been deferred due to alleged irregularities in the procurement process initiated by the then Energy Minister Janardan Sharma.
The state-owned utility had projected that replacement of fluorescent bulbs by energy-efficient LED bulbs would save at least 200 MW of electricity.
A 9W Philips LED light is now available for Rs 290 compared to Rs 360 a year ago. Similarly, price of Philips 7W LED light has come down by about 25 percent to Rs 260 per unit, according to officials of Bhajuranta Engineering and Sales Ltd.
Likewise, Him Electronics, the distributor of Himstar electronic products, is selling 8W LED bulb at Rs 150. It is also offering three-year warranty on bulbs. Similarly, Baltra has also announced two-year warranty on LED bulb. The company, however, has not published its retail rates.
According to Paudyal, the demand for electrical bulbs and decorative lights has increased this year compared to past years as consumers are not confident of receiving uninterrupted power supply. “Though LED bulbs have become cheaper, price of decorative lights is more or less the same,” he added.