Continuing with India’s energy transition, it is encouraging to see the focus on improving energy efficiency. Christin Mathew Philip writes in The Times of India about the energy efficiency drive underway in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is good to see that there is a regular survey taking place so that progress can be properly monitored.
Energy efficiency drive: Tamil Nadu fourth among industrial states
Tamil Nadu is ranked fourth among industrialised states in pursuing energy efficiency initiatives. According to the first edition of the survey released by Niti Aayog on Thursday, the state lags in energy efficiency programmes for buildings.
The state could start tracking the effectiveness and impact of energy efficiency programmes using quantitative indicators such as energy intensity and penetration of energy efficient technologies in demand sector. Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra are ranked above Tamil Nadu in the same grouping.
There are 6 sectors in which states are assessed for their energy efficiency. The sectors include buildings, industry, municipalities, transport and agriculture. Tamil Nadu fares poorly in buildings as it has not notified Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), which is applicable to large commercial buildings with connected load of 100 kW and above or 120 kVA and above.
ECBC focuses on buildings, mechanical systems and equipment including heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, interior and exterior lighting systems, electrical system and renewable energy, and also takes into account the five climates zones (hot dry, warm humid, temperate, composite and cold).
“Tamil Nadu is yet to notify ECBC and incorporate it into municipal building by-laws. In addition to EESL’s UJALA programmes for LED bulbs and EE fans, the state has its own programme for domestic lighting, i.e. distribution of 1 crore LED bulbs (2 LED bulbs per household) at a subsidized rate of Rs 10 per bulb to all metered domestic consumers consuming less than 500 units bimonthly,” said the survey.
On the municipal side, Tamil Nadu mandates use of LED lighting and rating of appliances in all government buildings. The state has 389 registered green buildings. In terms of steps to be taken, Tamil Nadu should notify ECBC and incorporate it in municipal building by-laws. The state could also consider mandating energy audits for commercial buildings and providing financial support for energy audits, said the survey.
Chief electrical inspector of Tamil Nadu government is responsible for implementing ECBC in buildings. Despite repeated efforts, he could not be reached.
In the industry sector, Tamil Nadu is one of the few states that mandates energy audits through the Promotion of Energy Audit and Conservation of Energy (PEACE) scheme. “The scheme provides subsidies for energy audits in the MSME sector. It also includes support for training initiatives and EE project implementation in the MSME sector,” said the survey.
The survey appreciates Tamil Nadu for its efforts in energy saving in municipalities, transport as well as in agriculture.