(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 – PIB “Topic:Improving Energy Efficiency”

(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Bureau Articles

Topic: Improving Energy Efficiency

Q. Energy Conservation Act?

  • As a step towards improving energy efficiency, the Government of India
    has enacted the Energy Conservation Act in 2001.
  • The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 is the most important multi-sectoral
    legislation in India and is intended to promote efficient use of energy in
  • The Act specifies energy consumption standards for equipment and
    appliances, prescribes energy consumption norms and standards for consumers,
    prescribes energy conservation building codes for commercial buildings and
    establishes a compliance mechanism for energy consumption norms and

Q. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)?

  • In order to implement the various provisions of the EC Act, Bureau of
    Energy Efficiency (BEE) was operationalised with effect from 1st March,
    2002. The EC Act provides a legal framework for energy efficiency
    initiatives in the country. The Act has mandatory as well as promotional
  • The Bureau is spearheading the task of improving the energy efficiency
    in various sectors of the economy through regulatory and promotional
    mechanism. The primary objective of BEE is to reduce energy intensity in the
    Indian economy.
  • This is to be demonstrated by providing policy framework as well as
    through public-private partnership.

Q. What are the actions taken during the 11th Plan Period by Government of
India to promote energy efficiency?

Some of the principal programmes launched included Standards and Labeling of
Equipment and Appliances, Energy Conservation Building Code, Energy Efficiency
in Industry and Residential Lighting.

Q. Standards and Labeling of Equipment and Appliances?

  • Labeling has been introduced for 16 major energy
    consuming appliances, providing users with information on the energy use of
    a model and its relative efficiency.

  • Labeling has been mandatory for 4 products- air
    conditioners, refrigerators, distribution transformers and tube lights.

  • This programme in 2010-11 has led to saving of 3718
    million units of electricity equivalent to avoided capacity generation of

  • With the market for star-rated labeled products growing,
    there is now a move towards making appliances super efficient i.e.
    appliances that save as much as 30-50% energy than the most energy efficient
    versions available in the market.

  • To accelerate this shift and make such appliances
    affordable, BEE is in the process of launching the Super Energy Efficient
    Program (SEEP) that would provide manufacturers incentives to produce super
    efficient appliances.

  • It forms a part of Market Transformation for Energy
    Efficiency (MTEE) initiative, one of the four initiatives of the National
    Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency. Super efficient appliances have a
    high cost of production as well as uncertainty of demand. The program
    envisions that incremental cost can be compensated by incentives on one hand
    and cost reduction due to economy of scale on the other.

Q. What is Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)?

  • A National Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) has
    been prepared for the design of new commercial buildings. Over 700 ECBC
    compliant buildings are at various stages of construction.

  • In addition, performance contracting through Energy
    Service Companies (ESCOs) is being promoted to enable the retrofit of
    existing buildings so as to reduce their energy consumption. It has resulted
    in electricity saving of 22.45 million units in 2010-11 which is equivalent
    to avoided capacity generation of 4.27 MW. C. Energy Efficiency in Industry

  • The Government has notified the energy efficiency
    improvement targets for the 478 most energy intensive industrial units in 8
    sectors. Together, they account for about one third of the total energy
    consumption in India. The sectors covered by the notification are iron and
    steel, cement, fertilizers, aluminum, pulp and paper, chlor-alkali, textiles
    and thermal power stations. Within each sector, only plants using more than
    a specified amount of energy are included in the targeted list.

  • An interesting feature of the programme is that these
    units which are able to achieve greater energy efficiency improvements
    within the specified targets can capture the excess savings through the
    issuance of Energy Saving Certificates. These certificates can be traded and
    bought by other units covered by the programme who may find it expensive to
    meet their targets through their own actions. Units which are unable to meet
    their target, either through their own action or through purchase of
    certificates will be liable for repayment of penalty. The penalty will be
    related to shortfall in target achievement. A penalty of Rs.10,154 will be
    levied for shortfall of 1 tonne of oil equivalent in the achievement of the

Q. What is Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY)?

  • The Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) provides energy-efficient
    Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) to households at the cost of incandescent
    bulbs as the former are expensive and hence not able to penetrate in the
    domestic sector. Over 20 million CFLs have already been distributed under
    the BLY programme.

  • The scheme targets to replace 400 million bulbs leading
    to a possible reduction of 6000MW and about 24 million tonnes of carbon
    dioxide emissions.

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