Energy Conservation

Energy conservation means reduction in energy consumption but without making any sacrifice in the quality or quantity of production. It refers to increase the production from a given amount of energy input by reducing losses/wastage and maximizing the efficiency. Even though energy conservation reduce energy services, it can result in improved environmental quality, national security, personal financial security, and higher saving. It is at the top of the sustainable energy hierarchy and also reduces costs by preventing future resource depletion.

Some Energy Conservation Techniques

There are some energy saving techniques which can be implemented efficiently:

1. Install compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lights: Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs cost more upfront but last 12 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
2. Lower the room temperature: Even a slight decrease in room temperature can result in big energy savings. The more the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature, the more energy it consumes to maintain room temperature. A more smarter and comfortable way of doing this is to install a programmable thermostat.
3. Use maximum daylight: Turn off lights during the day and use daylight as much as possible. It will reduce the burden on the local power grid.
4. Get energy audit done: Getting energy audit done by hiring an energy audit expert is the energy conservation technique that can help conserve energy. Home energy audit is nothing but a process that help to identify areas in home where it is losing energy and what steps should be taken to overcome them.
5. Use energy efficient appliances: Use electrical appliances having Energy Star rating. Energy efficient appliances with Energy Star rating consume less energy.
6. Switch off appliances when not in use: Electrical appliances like coffee machine, idle printer, desktop computer, etc., keep on using electricity even when not in use. These appliances should be switched off if need not arises.

  • Some countries employ energy or carbon taxes to motivate energy users to reduce their consumption.
  • Carbon taxes can allow consumption shift to nuclear power and other alternatives that carry a different set of environmental side effects and limitations.

Energy Conservation in India

  • Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is an Indian government body created in 1977 which has been engaged in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in every walk of life.
  • In the recent past, PCRA has done mass media campaigns in television, radio and print media.
  • An impact assessment survey by a third party revealed that due to these mega campaigns by PCRA, overall awareness level have got up leading to saving of fossil fuels worth crores of rupees besides reducing pollution.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a statutory body set up in 2002 under the provisions of Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • The mission of the BEE is to assist in developing policies and strategies with thrust on self-regulation and market principles within the overall framework of the Act.

Salient Features of “Energy Conservation Act, 2001”

  • During the 9th Five Year Plan, the need for an Energy Conservation Act was realized.
  • Considering the vast potential of energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency, the Government of India (on 29 September, 2001) enacted the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • The Act provides the legal framework, institutional arrangement and a regulatory mechanism at the central and state levels to embark upon an energy-efficiency drive in the country.
  • This act requires large energy consumers to adhere energy-consumption norms; new buildings to follow the Energy Conservation Building Code; and appliances to meet energy-performance consumption labels.

The key provisions of Energy Conservation Act, 2001:

  • To lay down minimum energy-consumption standards and labelling for identified appliances/equipments and norms for industrial processes for energy intensive industries.
  • Establishment of an Energy Conservation Fund, both at the central and state levels.
  • Direct mandatory display of label on notified equipment and appliances.
  • Prescribe energy conservation building codes for efficient use of energy and its conservation in new commercial buildings having a connected load of 500 kW or above.
  • The establishment of a Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in place of the existing Energy Management Centre (EMC) to implement the provisions of the Act.
  • BEE to act as a facilitator for the evolution of a self-regulatory system and organizations to regulate on their own with a view to save energy and thereby bring the commercial concept in the organization.

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