No upfront costs for Indian city's LEDs. Payment from electricity savings Here's a business model that puts its money where its mouth is: The Indian city of Agartala will soon start replacing its conventional streetlights with energy saving LED lamps, without shelling out a cent in capital costs.

Rather, it will pay for the system over seven years from money it saves on electricity bills.

So reports the Times of India. The paper says that the city, which is the capital of the northeastern state of Tripura and has population of about 438,000 expects to sign an agreement next week.

Not that government in general won't have a hand in upfront costs. The money will come from a federal group called Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), which is a joint venture among several operations within India's Ministry of Power. The story does not identify the LED vendor.

'We are expecting the signing of (an) MoU with EESL by next week to install modern, energy efficient streetlights on the city roads,' said Ashutosh Jindal, urban development secretary for Tripura. 'This will not only reduce our energy bills, it also provides better lighting on streets and gives a modern look.' 

According to the story, Agartala will be the first city in India to completely replace streetlights to LEDs. Much larger cities that have partially brought in LEDs include Kolkata, Hyderabad and Vijayawada.

India as a country suffers from power shortages and is under pressure to introduce energy saving technologies such as LED lighting. 

The Ministry of Power groups behind EESL include NTPC, a state-owned generating company that operates dozens of electricity plants around India; PFC, which helps finance power schemes; REC, which looks after rural electrification; and Power Grid, which is India's largest electricity transmitter.

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Photo: Parts of Agartala have a certain glow. Will LEDs change that? Image is from Flickr/Wikimedia