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Government eyes Rs 35,000 crore savings by making buildings green
The power ministry has set its sights on achieving an estimated Rs 35,000 crore annual savings by making all existing and future government as well as commercial buildings in the country energy efficient in the next few years and use the saved electricity to light up poor homes and energise irrigation pumps.
The government is aiming to achieve this goal through the Energy Conservation Building Code-2017, framed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the ministry and using Energy Efficiency Services Ltd to push application of energy efficient lighting and appliances.
According to government estimates, retrofitting of existing buildings with energy efficient lights, appliances and other initiatives has the potential of saving nearly 30-40 billion units annually by reducing power consumption for lighting and air-conditioning in these buildings.
Designing new buildings in accordance with the energy code is estimated to achieve a reduction of another 300 billion units in power consumption each year by 2030.
Together, these measures are expected to shrink the carbon footprint by 250 million tonnes a year of CO2 equivalent.
"How much electricity does a poor household with a fan, a few lights — and maybe we can give them a cooler — need every month? Maybe 30-40 units? Now do your math. Just imagine how many poor households can be powered free of cost; how many farmers can be given free power for their pumps from the savings," power, coal, renewable and mines minister Piyush Goyal said after releasing the code on Monday.
The need to make government and commercial buildings more energy efficient has become important as primary energy demand in India has been growing at a rapid rate, rising from 450 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) in 2000 to 900 million TOE in 2015. This is expected to increase further to 1,500 million TOE in 2030.
India also consumes about 1,100 billion units of electricity evry year. Residential and commercial buildings consume about 37% of total electricity consumption. This makes conservation an absolute imperative as one billion square metres of new commercial buildings are expected to be added by 2030.
Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Goyal said every unit of electricity saved was equivalent to generating 1.33 unit of power.
"Conservation is in our (Indian) DNA... Hawa Mahal (Jaipur) and Mysore Palace, built hundreds of years ago, stand as testimony to this. Conservation has to come," he said stressing the need to revive Indian design traditions and make them the driving part of discourse on modern architecture.