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National Energy Conservation Day 2020

  • 14 Dec 2020
  • 9 min read

Why in News

The National Energy Conservation Day is organized on 14th December every year by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with an aim to showcase India’s achievements in energy efficiency and conservation.

  • The National Energy Conservation Awards are given on the occasion.

Key Points

  • Energy Conservation:
    • It is any behavior that results in the use of less energy.
      • Turning the lights off when leaving the room and recycling aluminum cans are both ways of conserving energy.
    • It is different from the term ‘energy efficiency’, which is using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function.
      • Using a Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light bulb or a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb that requires less energy than an incandescent light bulb to produce the same amount of light is an example of energy efficiency.
    • The Energy Conservation (EC) Act was enacted in 2001 with the goal of reducing the energy intensity of Indian economy.
      • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was set up as the statutory body in 2002 at the central level to facilitate the implementation of the EC Act.
        • It functions under the Ministry of Power.
    • India’s energy demand is expected to double between 2013 and 2030, to approximately 1500 million tons of oil equivalent.
  • Energy Conservation Act, 2001: The Act provides regulatory mandates for:
    • Standards & labeling of equipment and appliances;
    • Energy conservation building codes for commercial buildings; and
    • Energy consumption norms for energy intensive industries.
  • National Energy Conservation Awards:
    • These Awards are given by eminent dignitaries of the Government of India to Industries, Buildings, Transport and Institutions sectors along with Energy Efficient Manufacturers to recognize innovation and achievements made by them in energy conservation.
    • The awards were given for the first time on 14th December, 1991, which is celebrated as “National Energy Conservation Day” throughout the country.
  • Schemes To Promote Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency:
    • The Ministry of Power through the BEE is implementing various policies and schemes viz. PAT Scheme, Standard and Labelling, Energy Conservation Building Codes and Demand Side Management.
      • PAT Scheme:
        • Perform Achieve and Trade Scheme (PAT) is a market based mechanism to enhance the cost effectiveness in improving the Energy Efficiency in Energy Intensive industries through certification of energy saving which can be traded.
        • It is a part of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), which is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
      • Standards and Labeling:
        • The scheme was launched in 2006 and is currently invoked for equipments/appliances Room Air Conditioner (Fixed/VariableSpeed), Ceiling Fan, Colour Television, Computer, Direct Cool Refrigerator, Distribution Transformer, Domestic Gas Stove, General Purpose Industrial Motor, LED Lamps, Agricultural Pumpset, etc.
        • It provides the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
      • Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC):
        • It was developed for new commercial buildings in 2007.
        • ECBC sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings having a connected load of 100kW (kilowatt) or contract demand of 120 KVA (kilovolt-ampere) and above.
        • BEE has also developed a voluntary Star Rating Programme for buildings which is based on the actual performance of a building, in terms of energy usage in the building over its area expressed in kWh/sq. m/year.
      • Demand Side Management:
        • DSM is the selection, planning, and implementation of measures intended to have an influence on the demand or customer-side of the electric meter.
    • Furthermore, the development of Energy Conservation Guidelines and State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index are complimented within different sectors of Industries and States for implementing the energy efficiency programmes more effectively.
    • India's first convergence project to generate green energy for rural and agriculture consumption is set to come up in Goa.
  • Global Efforts:
    • International Energy Agency:
      • It works with countries around the world to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future.
      • India is not a member country but an association country.
      • The IEA and Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL - Ministry of Power) co-produced a case study on the Indian Government's domestic efficient lighting programme - UJALA - to showcase the multiple benefits of energy efficient lighting.
    • Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL):
      • It is an international organization that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions and civil society to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – in line with the Paris Agreement on climate.
    • Paris Agreement:
      • It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
      • As a part of the Paris Agreement, India has committed to reducing its energy intensity (units of energy use per unit of GDP) by 33-35% by 2030 compared to the 2005 levels.
    • Mission Innovation (MI):
      • It is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) to accelerate clean energy innovation.
      • India is one of the member countries.

Way Forward

  • The high ambitions of citizens to live and work in comfortable air conditioned spaces with appliances providing ease of living will lead to a multi fold increase in energy consumption. An approach to change the course of energy use behaviour through energy efficiency programmes is needed to curb future energy demand.
  • It is crucial for India to push for the expansion of the Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) programme to all segments of the construction sector. The objective of this programme is to develop a framework for conventional buildings to achieve low energy use per unit area.
  • Also, India’s power sector is slated for a revamp with multiple policy level changes through the amendment of the Electricity Act. One of the major initiatives as a solution to issues like low billing efficiencies leading to revenue losses, heavy transmission and distribution losses, monitoring of electricity consumption, etc. is installation of smart meters. The installation of smart meters at a fast pace can help India in facilitating energy efficiency interventions at a large scale.
  • Embracing an energy efficient lifestyle will provide a positive impetus towards transformation of India’s energy system for the better. Energy efficiency interventions are one of the most cost-effective means of achieving a low carbon transition.
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