Government withdraws plans to bring in more LED light bulbs
The Government has pulled the plug on plans to purchase a second batch of energy-saving light bulbs for homes across the island.
In February, Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs announced that an order for 150,000 of the LED bulbs — placed with a local supplier at a cost of $237,000 — had been delivered. Distribution to the island’s 28,000 homes began last month, with households receiving four bulbs each.
The initiative was launched as part of the Government’s drive to reduce the cost of living. Mr Roban claimed that each bulb could cut electricity bills by as much as $37 a year.
In April the Government issued a second request for quotation, inviting island retailers to submit bids to provide a further 150,000 bulbs.
Asked if an overseas manufacturer could have provided the bulk order more cheaply, a government spokesman said: “As an economic stimulus initiative, the strategy included supporting local Bermuda businesses so they could also benefit. We chose to buy Bermuda.
The spokesman added that four vendors submitted bids for the first contract, which was awarded to the lowest bidder.
The Royal Gazette also asked the Government why it was placing a second order, pointing out that, even if all 28,000 households accepted their allotted four bulbs, the Government would still have a surplus of 38,000 bulbs.
This week the spokesman confirmed that the second RFQ had been withdrawn, and that the Government had not placed an order.
The spokesman said: “The Government has deemed the 150,000 LED light bulbs currently being distributed will achieve the goals of the LED stimulus package.
“Following this initial distribution, should the need to purchase more LEDs become apparent, we will consider buying more."
“Once every dwelling unit receives its pack of four LED bulbs, the remainder will again be distributed through charities to seniors and those most in need, helping these individuals reduce their electricity bills even further.
“This initiative aims to give one pack to every household dwelling unit to ensure every household benefits. Once completed, any remaining LEDs will be distributed to those most in need.”