What are the major areas of activity of the BEE?
Our key thrust areas are: Bachat Lamp Yojana, a CDM based scheme which seeks to provide high quality CFLs to domestic consumers for about Rs 15 a lamp, comparable to incandescent bulbs; Standards and labelling scheme to promote energy efficient appliances and equipment; Energy Conservation Building Code for large, new commercial buildings (having connected load of 500kW) to encourage energy-efficient design of new buildings and the retrofit of old structures and examination to certify energy managers in order to strengthen energy management systems in the country.
BEE has also been mandated to provide a policy framework and direction to national energy conservation activities. How?
The bureau has been established to implement the provisions of Energy Conservation Act 2001. Our primary objective is to provide policy leadership and regulatory advice to central and state governments and to promote efficiency and conservation efforts and programmes. BEE coordinates with consumers, industries and other organisations; recognises, identifies and utilises existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the assigned functions.
What is your standards and labelling programme?
The standards and labelling programme tends to a create transformation in the consumer market. The programme provides the consumer an informed choice about the energy performance, and thereby the cost-saving potential of household and other equipment. Under the programme, appliances are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with the most efficient carrying a 5 star label. It has been developed in a collaborative and consensus-driven approach with active participation from all stakeholders.
All government bodies were asked to reduce energy consumption by 30%. What measures have you taken?
There is no minimum benchmark of 30% reduction — but there is a huge potential of energy savings in existing buildings. The government has launched an initiative to make the existing government buildings energy efficient. In the 1st phase, nine buildings were taken up and results of the energy audit have been encouraging. The buildings include Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block (Defence Ministry), Rail Bhawan, Sanchar Bhavan, Shram Shakti Bhawan, Transport Bhavan, R & R Hospital, Delhi Airport and All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Are your standards followed by manufacturers?
BEE labels and standards have been initiated as a voluntary process, so that consumers start showing their preference for efficient products and manufactures can see the incentive for producing such products. We are also campaigning for consumer awareness to create market pull.