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Consumer-Focused Electricity Conservation Initiative Receives Award from University of Chicago

VR Lite, a partnership between TIDE and WRI India, will help facilitate electricity conservation through behaviour change

Bengaluru: Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) and World Resources Institute (WRI) India were named winners of the Bengaluru Innovation Challenge for VR Lite, a consumer-focused electricity conservation initiative. The Challenge was organised by the Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago, in partnership with the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka.

Electricity consumption has steadily increased in the last two decades, and is further projected to increase eight times by 2050. It is therefore important to employ focused policy strategies to sensitize consumers and facilitate market efforts to limit consumption”, says Sumathy Krishnan, Executive Director, TIDE.

Through VidyutRakshaka, a citizen engagement program in Bengaluru aimed at reducing household electricity consumption, supported by Societe Generale Global Solutions Center’s CSR, the team facilitated a culture of energy conservation and energy efficiency through awareness, electricity bill assessments, and customised recommendations. VR Lite has evolved from this initiative, and will focus on scaling up the programme to target the utility’s sub-division. Through this programme, domestic consumers in a BESCOM sub-division will receive periodic nudges to promote electricity conservation and energy efficient choices.

We are delighted to partner with TIDE on this initiative. The funding received through the Bengaluru Innovation Challenge will help support city level scaling up, and generate evidence on the success and impacts of behaviour-change energy conservation programmes in India”, says Sumedha Malaviya, Senior Project Associate, WRI India.

The winners will receive funding support over two years to test and evaluate their ideas in the field, with guidance and input from state utility Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), and leading faculty at the University of Chicago. If successful, the ideas could become policy solutions the government could implement at a large scale, and may provide an important model for other cities to follow.

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