Considering the herculean India centric challenges, the Smart City Mission was quite an ambitious initiative from the government of India. The huge capex that a local governing body has to bear while building or renovating a city infrastructure, including lights installed in nooks & corners of the locality, has been one of the largest challenges. Offering a solution to this predicament by banking on first of its kind energy saving technologies is eSmart Energy Solutions Ltd. - a Mumbai-based company dedicated to developing technology based energy saving lighting products. By completing relieving the government bodies from capex while retrofitting/building lighting infrastructure, eSmart has built an exceptional revenue generation model, which is completely based on the energy saving achieved. CIO Insider further explores the story of eSmart through an exclusive interview with the man at the helm.
In conversation with Suresh Shah, Chairman, eSmart Energy Solutions
In the aftermath of the pandemic, India’s ambitious Smart Cities project is lagging behind its targets. What is the kind of role that eSmart Energy Solutions is playing in this futuristic, growing market and where are you currently positioned in the industry?
Pandemic has had an adverse impact on all industries and the smart city mission wasn’t spared either. We currently focus on the public lighting system and are working on an energy saving model (ESCO) where-in we take our payments through savings generated and without any capital cost to customers. Since our model of business doesn’t need customers to invest anything in capex and payment is from saving generated, it is comparatively easier for Municipal Corporations to come up with tenders.
We are one of the biggest ESCO companies in public lighting from the private sector and have all required credentials for acquiring tender. This takes us ahead in the game that gives a
higher probability of stick rate.
What’s the unique proposition that you offer, when it comes to lighting products?
As mentioned above, we offer lighting solutions based on the ESCO model which comprise a whole world of features. We are capable of retrofitting all conventional lights with LED Light without any CAPEX for the Municipal Corporation. Esmart will incur all capex costs, while also guaranteeing 75 percent to 85 percent saving in energy consumption over conventional light. Esmart will pay penalty up to 50 percent of the differential in case of less saving than the guaranteed saving.
Currently, we have 14 projects running with approximately 350k street lights in operation across the country and generating energy saving as committed
Currently, we have 14 projects running with approximately 350k street lights in operation across the country and generating energy saving as committed.
Tell us about your portfolio of solutions and the technology framework and innovations that are involved. Also, tell us about your energy efficiency proposition.
We have an energy efficiency solution and that is best in class, and as per our understanding, no one else is there in the market to match the efficiency which we provide. The lifespan which we guarantee is 10 years and it will work even further smoothly for the next 5 years with proper wear and tear management. That is due to strictly following the technological edge we have.
We use heat pipe technology in our light which no one else uses across the globe. While the heat dissipation
technique enhances the energy efficiency and the life of the product, the highly efficient electronic driver consumes less power.
We use the best in the class components with our own design to meet the objective such as lenses, and we use specially designed lenses to bring focal impact and degree of spread of illumination. Addition-ally, our field control panel is equipped with a controller which is connected to Centralized Control Center (CCC) through GPRS. This enables us to manage and monitor PAN city lighting infrastructure efficiently and effectively.
Is there any interesting & challenging case study that comes to mind pertaining to one of your implementations?
The first project on ESCO model in the country was retrofitting LED lights in the city of Bhubaneswar. The World Bank through IFC was a consultant to de-sign and implement this model. We were selected as the successful bidder through competitive tendering.
Since it was the first tender of this kind, it was challenging at every step starting from completing the survey to fixation of baseline energy consumption, practical approach to workout energy saving as compared to baseline, control room operation, and installation of lights. Since it was challenging and interesting for all the stakeholders, be it Municipal Corporation, public at large, consultant, or the con-tractor, everyone contributed to make it a success. We are happy and proud to mention that the project was successfully implemented and is running elegantly for the last five years. On top of it, customers were given further additional order of more than double of what it was originally.
What’s your mission and vision while going forward? What’s eSmart Energy Solutions’ future roadmap?
Since we have a proven technology for higher energy efficiency in LED lighting systems and bring savings which is approximately 50 percent higher than any other LED Light company in the country and over-seas. Our plan is to make our reach to capitalize additional 50 percent savings for the benefit of stake-holders. We are taking this offer abroad, and we have made a demo in a couple of countries.
To put some more context, saving in one unit of consumption saves 1.8 unit of generation as there are transmission and distribution losses that persist and ultimately we help to conserve the natural resources and reduce carbon emission.