With all major cities suffering outages lasting several hours, wastage of electricity of any kind has been criticised by many, and lighting of outdoor hoardings has come under the scanner quite a few times. OOH players saw their share of the problems when in the wake of the state’s energy crisis, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), seeking a more equitable distribution of energy conservation, levied a ban on power for hoardings in 2005, implying that the hoardings wouldn’t be given any power in the ‘dark hours’.
360 Degree Automation has decided to go the ecological way with its solar-powered outdoor hoardings. The company is using solar photovoltaic panels to light its hoarding and has also installed automatic timers that switch the illumination on and off, thus reducing wastage. Referring to all employees as ‘environmentalists’, Sidhraj Shah, spokesperson for 360 Degree Automation, said, “We are the first in India to come up with high power lights powered by solar photovoltaic panels. The company has already one site up at Mumbai for Big Bazaar.”
This technology, pioneered by Bodhgaya, uses solar photovoltaic panels that substitute conventional halogen lamps and relatively surpasses the light output quality. The solar panels convert solar energy into electrical energy required to illuminate the hoarding. An automatic timer and focused lighting avoid wastage of light. Also, unlike halogen lamps, the light produces a cool light, while the zero carbon emission contributes to a cleaner environment.
Talking about the investments involved, Shah stressed that OOH agencies would have very attractive payback periods and the costs could be recovered in three years. On the other initiatives from 360D, he added, “We are working on the solar medium, and outdoor is the first one. We are working on three different projects and hope to make it official in the next 2-3 weeks.”