In the current world scenario where warm surface temperatures and worsening climate impacts have become an increasingly common problem to bear, here arises our very own Delhi University’s Innovation Project team of Kamala Nehru College: KNC-301 with an earnest desire to limit all the activities leading to high energy consumption and save the world by teaching everyone to be as energy efficient as possible, in the smallest and yet, most significant of ways.
This young group of student researchers is therefore working on a project entitled- Implementation of a Successful ‘Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting and Home Appliances’ Campaign in Delhi: A Social Marketing Strategy. The team comprises of students such as Aakanksha Gupta, Alisha Allagh, Anushka Agarwal, Diya Mukherjee, Meghna Tripathi, Nitima Jain, Chetna Ahuja, Tanya Gupta, Priyal Kalra and Shubhi Singh; Principal Investigators like Dr. Soma Sen Gupta, Dr. Sona Mandal, and Dr. Pankaj Kumar; and Dr. Anjan Sen, from the Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics as their Mentor.
Even though our society is fully aware of the benefits gained from the efficiency improvement of home appliances, a large majority becomes apprehensive on buying and using products which promise the same. Some of the major concerns addressed by them are either in the favor of extremely high costs of LEDs and ‘Star-rated’ appliances or safety risks caused due to the fear of the ultraviolet radiation leakage from CFL bulbs. The main aim of their study is to explore how a social marketing approach can be used to eradicate such myths and introduce a behavioral change among the masses so that they switch to energy efficient lighting like CFL/LED bulbs in their homes without any hesitation.
The innovation team of KNC, thus, decided to critically evaluate the measures undertaken by different stakeholders in the promotion of energy efficient home appliances. On 5th March, 2016, an interactive session was organized with the officials of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), New Delhi. They learnt that Mr. Sanjay Seth (Secretary) and Mr. Saurabh Diddi (Technical Head) had initiated various policy measures like, the Domestic Efficient Lighting Program (DELP) and #iledtheway campaign to promote and distribute four LEDs per household at Rs.93 per bulb, on the production of their electricity bill and aadhar card. They had even issued ‘Star Rating’ labels for as many as 21 products.
The second session was held with Phillips (India), one of the leading lighting companies of the world where Mr. Tapas Roy Chowdhury (Regional Sales Manager) and Varun (Sales Executive) explained that through continuous technological development in the lighting sector, Philips not only envisages energy efficiency, but even a reduction in the prices of LEDs. Moreover, their process of distribution and promotion through celebrity advertising has made LEDs gain popularity as well as acceptability.
Priyal Kalra, a student member of the project is of the view that, “as the youth of the nation, we wish to be more involved with taking care of the environment and persuading others to do so as well. Hence, the project gave us an opportunity to know how a social marketing strategy can help in changing the attitudes and behaviors of people and their perceptions regarding energy efficiency”.
On a field trip to Vishakhapatnam, the first city in India to implement energy efficiency through one hundred percent use of CFLs, the project team organized a survey and witnessed a high level of awareness and cooperation in the adoption of LED technology and high star-rated appliances, not only among the people of households, but even with road side vendors and street lighting. Less materialistic lifestyles, higher levels of education, and a better distribution strategy of the government were found to be the reasons behind this success.
A questionnaire based data was then, collected from 250 households in Delhi and NCR to determine the factors preventing a shift from traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs/LEDs. An effective campaign will be designed for the acceptance of these energy efficient appliances in Delhi through a social marketing strategy by blending the eight Ps together- product, price, promotion, place, public, policy, partnership, and purse string.
Image Credits: KNC-301, DU Innovation Team