Energy Conservation Act, 2001
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This article is written by Anaya Jain, a student of B.A. LL.B(Hons) from NMIMS school of law, Bangalore. This is an exhaustive article which discusses energy conservation, the act of 2001 to regulate it in India and its critical analysis.

Introduction 

What is energy conservation

“The need of the hour” is what energy conservation is right now.

It is the effort made to diminish the utilization of energy by using less of an energy service. This can be achieved either by utilizing energy all the more proficiently (utilizing less energy for a steady service) or by diminishing the measure of service utilized (for instance, by driving less). Energy conservation lessens the requirement for energy services and can bring about expanded ecological quality, national security, individual financial security and higher savings. It is at the highest point of the sustainable energy hierarchy. It additionally brings down energy costs by forestalling future resource depletion.

What is the act

Energy conservation Act, 2001 accommodates productive utilization of energy and its preservation for matters associated therewith or incidental thereto. It was instituted by the Parliament in the Fifty-second Year of the Republic of India and was enacted on 29th September 2001 but came into practice from 1st march, 2002. This act resulted in the formation of the Bureau of energy efficiency which came into effect from 2002.

Why was there a need for the act

  1. Energy conservation is the call of great importance. The first oil shock of 1973 stirred up the industrialized countries of the world and stirred them from the tired smugness of ceaseless oil flow. It made them face the distinct truth of the vulnerability in oil supply rebuilding and the delicacy of the trade-in oil. This was when numerous nations understood the dire requirement for energy preservation. 
  2. Remarkably, the rush of energy conservation had struck the Indian intelligentia 3 years sooner when a Fuel Policy Committee was set up by the Government of India in 1970, which finally bore natural products three decades henceforth, in the form of enactment of the much anticipated Energy Conservation Act, 2001 by the Government of India.
  3. The growing population of India and consequent increase in the consumption rate of energy resulted in the depletion of natural resources which once gone cannot be born again in the same state. So, in order to challenge this reality, the government of India thought of giving birth to the energy conservation act in 2001 to regulate the consumption and conservation of energy in India.

Objectives of the Act 

  1. To serve the efficient and effective use of energy and its conservation.
  2. Give an approach system and direction to national energy conservation activities. 
  3. Organize policies and programmes on the effective utilization of energy with shareholders. 
  4. Build up framework and strategies to verify measures and monitor energy efficiency improvements in the private and public sector at an individual and national level.
  5. Leverage the support of multilateral, bilateral and private sectors to make into effect the Energy Conservation Act. 
  6. Show Energy efficiency delivery system through a public-private partnership. 
  7. Advance energy efficiency in the nation.
  8. To plan, manage and actualize energy conservation programs as visualized in the Energy Conservation Act.

Salient features of the Act 

The Act empowers the Central Government and, in certain cases, State Governments to: 

  1. Determine energy utilization standards for notified hardware and apparatuses; 
  2. Directly required showcase of a label on notified hardware and machines; 
  3. Forbid production, dealing, buying and importing of notified hardware and apparatuses not complying with energy utilization norms; 
  4. Notify energy-intensive industries, different establishment and commercial structures as assigned consumers; 
  5. Set up and recommend energy utilization standards and measures for designated consumers; 
  6. Endorse energy preservation building standards for proficient utilization of energy and its conservation in new commercial buildings having an associated load of 500 kW or a contract demand of 600 kVA or more; 
  7. Directly assign purchasers to –
  • Selected ensured energy administrator responsible for activities for effective utilization of energy and its conservation; 
  • Get an energy audit conducted to authorize energy evaluator in the predefined way and time frame; 
  • Furnish data as to energy consumption and steps taken on the suggestion of the authorized energy inspector to the planned organization; 
  • Comply with energy utilization standards and guidelines; 
  • Prepare and actualize plans for effective utilization of energy and its preservation if the recommended energy utilization standards and measures are not satisfied.

8. Get an energy audit of the building conducted by a licensed energy auditor in this predetermined way and time periods;

State Governments may – 

  1. Alter the energy conservation building codes arranged by the Central Government to suit territorial and neighbourhood climatic conditions; 
  2. Direct every proprietor or occupier of a new commercial building or building complex, to comply with the provisions of energy conservation building codes; 
  3. Direct, whenever necessary, about efficient utilization of energy and its conservation, any assigned purchaser to get energy audit conducted by a licensed energy auditor in such way and at such time spans as might be determined.

Loopholes in the act and their solutions 

The reservoir of solutions to limitations of the Energy conservation act of 2001 is given in Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2010. The Bill was presented in the Lok Sabha on March 8, 2010. It changes the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

  1. The Energy Conservation Act enables the administration to indicate standards and principles of energy efficiency to be followed by various industries in their utilization of power. Standards and measures of energy efficiency and conservation are likewise to be set for apparatuses and hardware and the development of a building. The Act enables state governments to authorize its different provisions. 
  2. The Act likewise sets up the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the central government to determine qualification and certification procedures for energy inspectors and directors who will audit the utilization of energy by enterprises. 
  3. The Bill grows the extent of energy conservation standards for building and fixes the applicability of energy efficiency standards for apparatuses and gear. It gives a framework within which investment funds on energy use can be exchanged between those ventures who are energy effective and those whose utilization of energy is more than the maximum set by the legislature. The Bill builds punishments for offences and accommodates requests to be heard by the Electricity Appellate Tribunal set up under the Electricity Act, 2003
  4. Under the Act, the administration could specify energy conservation building codes for business structures with an associated load of in excess of 500 kW or agreement request of 600 kVA. The Bill widens the scope of business structures to which such building codes apply to those with an associated load of more than 100 kW or contracted demand of more than 120 kVA.
  5. Under the Bill, the central government can give energy saving certificates to those businesses whose energy utilization is not exactly the most extreme permitted. Such authentications can be offered to different shoppers whose utilization is more than the greatest admissible. 
  6. The Act enables the legislature to indicate energy utilization standards for gear or machines. The legislature can likewise preclude the assembling, deal, buy or import of informed gear except if they fit in with such standards. Be that as it may, this denial must be given two years after the standards have been determined. The Bill decreases this time period to a half year, extendable by a further half-year. 
  7. The Bill increases the punishment indicated for offences submitted under the Act. Every offence will result in punishment of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 10,000 prior), with an extra punishment of Rs 10,000 for every day that the offence remains (Rs 1000 prior). The extra punishment, for those enterprises who consume energy in an overabundance of standards, will be the estimation of the excess energy consumed. 
  8. The Act accommodated the setting up of an Appellate Tribunal for Energy Conservation, which would hear claims against requests of the central or state government. The Bill gets rid of this arrangement and accommodates appeals against such orders to be heard by the appellate tribunal built up under the Electricity Act, 2003. 
  9. The Bill increases the term of office of the Director-General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency from three to five years. It accommodates the Bureau, as opposed to the Central Government, to appoint its officials and staff.

Conclusion 

India doesn’t have an integrated energy security approach. Rather, it is to be discovered spread among various related strategies drafted by the concerned services of the Union government. For example, it can very well be discovered in The National Biofuel Policy 2008, The Integrated Energy Policy 2005 and The National Electricity Policy 2005. It might likewise be noticed that unlike the greater part of the western countries, India doesn’t have an Energy Security Act or some other enactment addressing exclusively energy security concerns. In any case, what we do have, is a broad structure of energy laws working at the domestic level. The amendment of 2010 has brought about effective changes in the policies and if followed, properly will bring significant improvements. It would be commendable if along with the measures of the government, every individual understands the gravity of conservation of energy and contributes a bit towards its conservation for the future generation.

As today’s wastage is tomorrow’s shortage. Save today, survive tomorrow.


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