Ramana Rao says that his investment of a decade of his life, post retirement, was purely for the public good without any profit motive
A retired Divisional Engineer of APEPDCL and certified energy auditor, R.V. Ramana Rao is a voluntary energy conservation campaigner. Ever since he retired from service a decade ago, he heeded to the call of his conscience to serve society by launching the energy conservation mission. He answers calls of people and holds awareness campaigns on ways and means of saving energy by using energy-efficient equipment, gadgets, bulbs and fans. He is on a mission of educating people in government and private organisations and educational institutions on the need to take steps to conserve energy, particularly at a time when the State is passing through a severe power crisis.
Leading by example
Going by the dictum that ‘energy saved is energy produced’ Mr. Ramana Rao says that the domestic sector accounts for 10 per cent of energy losses. One unit saved is almost equivalent to 1.5 units generated. It also means conservation of precious energy resources, including coal, gas and oil and preservation of the environment. For example, a 60 watt incandescent lamp can be replaced with a 15w CFL lamp, thus saving energy of 45w, which is 70 per cent energy saving. A tubelight consumes 55 watts, including induction choke. T5 tube light consumes 29 watts and an energy saving of 26 w can be made for a single tubelight which means energy saving by 50 per cent. The investment made on replacing of traditional with CFL lamp can be regained within a 2 month period by way of energy conservation. A conventional ceiling fan of 1200 mm size consumes 75-80 watts, while an energy efficient fan of any brand consumes 50w and energy saving per fan is 25w. Periodical maintenance for ceiling fans like cleaning and greasing the ball bearings further saves 5 per cent energy. As part of energy conservation, use of solar water heaters is the best as solar energy is free. To heat 25 litres of water, electricity power costing Rs.3.23 and LPG gas worth Re.1 is needed. Micro ovens, washing machines, wet and dry grinders have to be used to their full capacity. Computers, refrigerators, and television sets should not be left in the remote off mode as they consume 20-30 watts of power even in this stage. The energy campaigner says that on an average about 30 per cent power can be saved per house per month if the above mentioned simple steps are taken by every house hold.
He advises against connecting more batteries for the same load with regard to invertors. Replacing defective batteries will avoid consumption of excess power. The old and new batteries should not be paralleled since the new batteries would get damaged. Tips of the kind are given in every meeting he addresses as part of the campaign. He visited many educational institutions, government offices, engineering colleges and multiple workshops and participated in seminars and addressed meetings at elite clubs where the message of energy conservation was conveyed with conviction.
A septuagenarian, Mr. Ramana Rao told The Hindu that his investment of a decade of his life after retirement was purely for the public good without any profit motives. District Collector V. Seshadri, inspired at his ‘campaign for a cause’, asked offices to use his services.