Heaters being displayed for sales at stores at Sanepa, Lalitpur. Photo: Ayam Shrestha/Republica
KATHMANDU, Jan 21: Although firewood and briquettes as well as gas heaters were a popular way of keeping oneself warm until a few years ago, Nepali citizens have been attracted toward electric heaters this winter, say traders.
“There has been a rise in the demand of electric heaters this year. The sales of such appliances have increased by eight to 10 percent,” said Sudarshan Prasad Paudyal, first vice president of the Federation of Electrical Entrepreneurs of Nepal (FEEN).
Suraj Chauhan of Unique Enterprises, based at Mahabouddha in central Kathmandu, seconded Paudyal's claim.
“We have seen much rise in the sales of electric heaters this year. Up to 55 heaters were sold in a day this year while we could hardly sell 30 heaters last year,” Chauhan told Republica.
Another trader, Arun Jha of Mudra Electrics, Sanepa added: “As a local retailer, I can say that this year the demand for electric heaters has increased drastically. On average, three to four heaters were sold each day this year, which is far more than what were sold in the previous years.”
“The ending of load-shedding has come as a boon for entrepreneurs. Previously, due to the efforts made by Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to put an end to load shedding, consumers have been attracted towards electrical heaters,” said Paudyal. He further added, “Due to the extreme cold in southern Nepal, the demand for heaters in the Terai region has increased drastically which has increased the overall heater use in the country.”
According to traders, Baltra, Electron, WEGA, Distar and Colors are among the most sought-after heater brands among Nepali customers.
Halogen heaters high in demand
Traders claim that halogen heaters with three rods are the most sought-after heater, followed closely by fan heaters. “Although fan heaters warm up the room very efficiently, as consumers psychologically tend to relate sensation of heat with emission of light, these heaters are in popular demand. Likewise, with the adjustable power consumption between 400 and 1200 watt in halogen heaters, as opposed to the 2000 watt power consumption of fan heaters, halogen heaters are more energy and cost efficient contributing to their high demand,” said FEEN vice president Paudyal.
While electric heaters have been in a popular demand, the same does not apply to gas heaters. “Although gas heaters were popular among consumers a couple of years back, it's not the case this year. The demand for gas heaters has steeply declined following the end of power cuts,” said Sanjaya Nath Joshi of Kathmandu Electrical Hall, Putalisdak.
By what is seen in the heater business, it can be implied that consumers are moving on to a more eco-friendly heating measures over the years. While trees had to de cut down for fire wood in the past, the earlier version of heating appliances such as kerosene and gas heaters would cause harm to the environment, and even at times were hazardous to human health. Using energy efficient electrical heaters, Nepali costumers have been progressively environment friendly.