Opinion

Efficient energy use

Satish Kumar | Updated on November 28, 2018 Published on November 28, 2018

States haven’t made much progress

India’s policy-makers have, for almost two decades, been grappling with the challenge of communicating the importance of energy efficiency to State government officials, with limited success. While significant progress has been made since the enactment of the Energy Conservation Act in 2001 and the subsequent creation of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India has not done too well when it comes to the implementation of some of the flagship energy efficiency policies, where States had to show leadership.

A case in point is the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), which has been incorporated by just nine States despite it being one of the most effective means of ensuring that code-compliant buildings have a lower energy intensity (kwh/m2) than non-compliant ones.

BEE, with support from USAID and GIZ, has tried to address energy efficiency at the State level through different programmes, such as supporting State Designated Agencies (SDAs) of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab to develop strategic energy efficiency roadmaps. However, actual implementation of energy efficiency measures with proven energy savings are few and far between. While States have taken up Energy Efficiency Services Ltd’s (EESL’s) programmes such as UJALA for LED bulbs, they need to significantly expand energy efficiency programmes in order to meet the saving targets proposed in the National Electricity Plan 2018.

SEEI

Three factors have led to the development of India’s first State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI), where Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), worked closely with BEE, NITI Aayog, EESL and SDAs. NITI Aayog has ensured that States take the lead in providing policy interventions in specific sectors. An acute need was felt to develop a balanced and comprehensive framework to baseline the energy efficiency situation in each State and then, from the second year onwards, start evaluating the progress.

Energy efficiency is seen as a cross-cutting theme that would require involvement of multiple departments to achieve the full benefits of policies

AEEE has four objectives for the Index: help drive energy efficiency policies and programme implementation at the State and local levels; highlight best practices and encourage healthy competition among States; track progress in managing States’ and India’s energy footprint; and set a baseline for energy efficiency efforts to date and aid in setting State-specific targets.

The SEEI assesses States using qualitative and quantitative indicators across all demand sectors — buildings, industry, municipalities, transport, agriculture — and electricity distribution. The Index appraises States in five domains: Whether the States have policies and programmes to drive energy efficiency? Have the States committed financial resources to implement these programmes? Do the States have a strong institutional framework to foster and enforce energy efficiency measures? How effective have the aforementioned measures been in increasing the adoption of energy efficiency? How much energy has been saved through energy efficiency?

The first SEEI launched in August this year, categorises States as ‘Frontrunner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’. Frontrunners (Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan) and Achievers (Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu) have performed better than other States primarily due to their efforts in implementing State-level programmes in addition to the national programmes.

The overarching priority for States is to capitalise on the SEEI to put in place a rigorous system for energy data collection and analysis across all sectors that would prioritise actions in future years.

ECBC should be incorporated in building bye-laws and targets for reducing energy intensity in commercial buildings must be set.

Also, they must develop a comprehensive programme for energy efficiency in energy-intensive MSME clusters.

The writer is President and ED, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Published on November 28, 2018
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