Kolkata: The power ministry is tapping the imagination of advertising gurus to hammer home the message that India can save 25,000MW of energy every year by being prudent.
The Piyush Goyal-led ministry has roped in Ogilvy & Mather India executive chairman Piyush Pandey, Madison World chairman and MD Sam Balsara and Sunil Alagh, a marketing consultant, for a compelling campaign around saving and efficient use of electricity. “We are all helping the committee as individuals. We are now waiting for the brief,” Pandey said. “The idea is to bring awareness on saving power and ways of using power in the correct way.”
Despite having an installed power generation capacity of over 250,000 MW, about 5% of India’s close to 600,000 villages remain deprived of electricity, while power supply in most rural areas is erratic, mainly due to high consumption in urban areas.
Some experts say the government’s efforts to cut electricity wastage need to be supplement strategies to reach out to the industrial and agriculture sectors where energy conservation potential is estimated at over 23%.
As per the ministry’s estimates, close to 25,000 MW of energy can be saved annually.
The ministry, sources say, may rope in prominent faces as brand ambassadors to energise its “saving electricity” campaigns which, thus far, are perceived to have not achieved much. An efficient power sector tops the priority list of Narendra Modi, who as chief minister had turned around Gujarat’s utilities and showcased them as a development model.
In its election manifesto earlier this year, the BJP promised uninterrupted power supply for all. Government agencies like the Bureau of Energy Efficiency have taken several steps to improve energy efficiency and promote power saving.
Ogilvy’s sister agency, Soho Square and Madison, helped the BJP with its Lok Sabha poll campaign, which too was led by Union minister Goyal, Pandey and Balsara, and the trio continue to work on campaigns for state assembly elections. Asked if he is open to joining more committee’s within government, Pandey said, “I am open to helping out on any call. But I can’t spread myself too thin and then fail to deliver the work.”
Meanwhile, there are talks that Modi wants Pandey to lead communications for both the government and the party. Although Pandey denied having received any such offer, several top executives at WPP said the offer includes maintaining agency relations and supervising government projects like ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, among others.