“Switch off all lights and fans when you leave the room” notices are a familiar sight in many offices. No doubt, obeying these notices is probably one of the most effective and least expensive of ways to cut down on the monthly electricity bills.
Or you can install more electrical gadgets to turn off other electrical gadgets automatically when you leave a room.
But between these two options, there are some simple steps that people can take to cut down on their electricity bills. The State Government has launched a programme in line with the recommendations of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency to conserve power in some of its biggest buildings, according to officials.
A NOVEL APPROACH
It has identified three companies Elpro International, Blue Star and Epic Energy Ltd to carry out an IGEA (Investment Grade Energy Audit), which is studying the status of power usage and assess the optimal level of spending to achieve significant power saving, according to the official.
This is part of a programme launched by the Central Government under the Energy Conservation Building Code of 2006. The Tamil Nadu Government has identified 18 large public sector buildings, including the Raj Bhavan, one of the towers of the office of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the Directorate of Medical Services, Stanley Hospital and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, where the energy audit would be done and measures adopted to cut down on the power bill.
A novel approach to the study is that the Government does not have to shell out money. The electrical experts are paid out of a portion of the energy cost that is saved by implementing the measures they suggest, the official said.
According to officials a pilot study done at the office of the Chief Electrical Inspector, the designated authority to implement the programme, have shown that power bills could come down by one-fifth with some basic changes. For instance, changing 100 of the old chunky, electrical fan regulators of 2W made a significant difference; over 300 aluminium chokes of 10W each were dumped in favour of electronic chokes of 2 W; incandescent bulbs were replaced with CFLs which, at a third of the bulbs’ power, give the same level of illumination.
The 18 buildings that have been identified are just a first step of the 291 public and commercial buildings in Tamil Nadu each with a connected load of at least 500 kW in which this programme will be implemented.
HUGE SAVINGS ON CARDS
At a recent conference on energy conservation organized by the Chennai Zone of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr S Appavoo, Electrical Inspector-Technical, Office of Chief Electrical Inspector, said that the power saving could be huge considering that across India over 2,900 buildings would be covered under the programme.
Energy efficiency measures in existing buildings would go a long way in enabling adequate availability of power for all. In new buildings, with the available technology, it would be possible to cut power consumption by half. In existing buildings too there is huge potential to save on power.
However the energy efficiency measures have to be applied across all segments. Of the 291 buildings covered under the ECBC, over 96 are office buildings, 19 hotels, 31 IT Parks, 39 educational institutions and 26 hospitals. These together use about 960 million units of power annually. Initial estimates show that the energy consumption could be brought down by about 192 million units. Considering that commercial buildings pay about Rs.4-6 a unit of power, the savings run into a huge number.
Source: Business Line 29/11/2009