Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal has said that India will save $6 billion per annum following the switch from conventional bulbs to LED bulbs -- a move that is expected to be completed by 2018 under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP).

Speaking at the Harvard College US India Initiative Conference in Mumbai on Saturday, Goyal said: "When all the 71 crore conventional bulbs are replaced by LED bulbs, it will result in a saving of 100 billion units of electricity."

An official statement from the Ministry of Power quoted him as saying that the authorities have distributed 4.59 crore LED bulbs till now under the DELP. The Centre has set a target to distribute over 6 crore LED bulbs through state-­run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, under which the DELP is being implemented in a mission mode, the statement added.

Good implementation of the programme has resulted in a three-fourth drop in the price of LED bulbs, said the minister. "We have been able to procure LED bulbs for about Rs 73 per piece as of June, down from Rs 310 in February 2014, a reduction of 76%," he said.

Monetary savings aside, the amount of power saved due to the DELP is expected to play a big role in the electrification of the country, especially in rural areas. Speaking on this, Goyal said: "The prime minister has given me a target of 1,000 days to bring electricity to the 18,000 villages that are not electrified till now. But, I am confident we will accomplish this mission within 730 days."

India currently depends heavily on coal to provide electricity to its citizens. Provisional statistics released by the Coal Ministry in October last year had pegged India's coal import bill in FY2015 at around Rs 1 lakh crore.

However, with LED bulbs being used at homes, power demand may come down significantly, thereby bringing down coal consumption, an economical as well as eco-friendly expectation.