- Recently, the National Energy Conservation Day was observed on December 14th by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
UN Statistics on Energy
- 13% global population lacks access to electricity
- 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, waste for cooking and heating
- Energy dominant contributor for climate change
- Energy needs account for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions
What is Energy Conservation?
- Energy conservation is a conscious, individual effort, and at a macro level, it leads to energy efficiency (most precisely Electrical Energy).
- It involves the effort made to ensure that energy is used efficiently by either using less energy or reducing the use for a particular constant purpose.
- The end goal of energy conservation is to reach towards sustainable energy.
- It is different from the term ‘energy efficiency’, which is using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function.
Energy scenario in India
- India is the third-largest electricity producer in the world. Thermal, nuclear, and renewable energy systems are the major sources for generating India’s electricity.
- Installed power generation capacities include:
- Thermal: 60% (234.69 GW)
- Nuclear: 2% (6.78 GW)
- Renewable Energy: 38% (150.54 GW)
- The overall capacity of about 392 GW is added into its electricity grid, as of November 2021. Perhaps this is insufficient to meets its total demand.
Various govt. initiatives
 Energy Conservation Act, 2001
- Considering the vast potential of energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency, the GoI enacted the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
- The Act provides for the legal framework, institutional arrangement and a regulatory mechanism at the Central and State level to embark upon energy efficiency drive in the country.
- Five major provisions of EC Act relate to:
- Designated Consumers
- Standard and Labeling of Appliances
- Energy Conservation Building Codes
- Creation of Institutional setup i.e. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
- Establishment of Energy Conservation Fund
 National Programme for LED-based Home and Street Lighting
- The initiative is part of the Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country.
- LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term.
- Under this scheme, Government aims to replace 3.5 crore conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights.
 Standards and Labelling Programme
- Standards and Labelling (S&L) programme has been identified as one of the key activities for energy efficiency improvements. The scheme was launched on 18th May 2006
- Key objective of the scheme is to provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
 Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC)
- The ECBC was launched by Ministry of Power for new commercial buildings in 2007. It sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings.
- In order to promote a market pull for energy efficient buildings, the BEE developed a voluntary Star Rating Programme for buildings which are based on the actual performance of a building.
 UJALA scheme
- UJALA scheme aims to promote efficient use of energy at the residential level, enhance the awareness of consumers about the efficacy of using energy efficient appliances.
- It facilitates higher uptake of LED lights by residential users.
- It may be noted that the scheme was initially labelled DELP (Domestic Efficient Lighting Program) and was re-launched as UJALA.
 School Education Program
- Considering the need to make the next generation more aware regarding efficient use of energy resources, it is necessary to introduce children during their school education.
- In this regard, promotion of energy efficiency in schools is being promoted through the establishment of Energy Clubs.
- BEE has prepared the text/material on Energy Efficiency and Conservation for its proposed incorporation in the existing science syllabi and science text books of NCERT for classes 6th to 10th.
- Universal Access: There must be universal access to affordable energy with effective intervention by the government.
- Awareness: More awareness programmes regarding green buildings should be held as there is a rapid expansion of urbanization.
- Investments: More investments in energy-efficient infrastructure are required.
- Storage: Li-ion batteries can be promoted and deployed with measures to manufacture indigenous lithium-ion batteries.
- Clean Energy: A stable supply chain of renewable energy and cleaner fossil fuel technologies must emerge in order to achieve the ambitious energy targets.
- India has taken strong strides on its clean energy transition.
- While India’s energy needs are expected to grow, energy efficiency can help meet them cost-effectively while leaving a better environment for the next generation.