‘Delhi houses are energy guzzlers’, says CSE

June 07, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:41 am IST - NEW DELHI:

“Cheap electricity, rising incomes and badly designed buildings that trap heat have led to the adoption of energy-intensive active cooling practices in the Capital,” states an analysis done on power consumption patterns of Delhiites by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). Its findings also indicate that the households in the Capital are the biggest energy guzzlers of electricity.

The analysis also takes a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party government for keeping a large bracket of power consumers under the 50 per cent subsidy scheme. “The amount of electricity that is subsidised for each household is more than the average consumption in Delhi and the country. No wonder Delhi has consumed more electricity last year than all the other metros put together,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s executive director-research and advocacy and head of its Sustainable Urbanisation programme.

The AAP government gives power subsidy of 50 per cent for monthly consumption up to 400 KWh. Delhi’s average consumption is only about 181 KWh, and nearly two-fifths of the households consume less than 100 KWh per month. The subsidy, thus, allows comfortable use of a number of appliances like air-conditioners, etc, and cushions substantial household energy costs, the analysis read.

Ms. Roychowdhury further added, “The government must mandate energy audits, compulsory disclosure of annual energy consumption and more effective consumption-based billing. Even as the AAP government is clamouring for new power plants to make Delhi sufficient in electricity supply, it is indifferent to consumptive use of subsidised electricity to meet the gluttonous appetite for energy-intensive air conditioned comfort and pollution. It has not paid attention to the urgent need to also reduce consumption with controls and energy pricing.”

Trends & nature

The CSE analysis of electricity consumption this summer attempts to understand the trends and nature of demand in the city and the likely impacts of the growing dependence on air conditioning to escape the heat. The report said lack of energy-efficiency measures is making Delhi an energy guzzler..

According to the newly released report of the Central Electricity Authority on Load Generation Balance Report 2015-16, Delhi is consuming more electricity than the States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Kerala, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim and all States of North-east. It also uses more power than all the other metros put together. Already, in Delhi, the household electricity consumption per capita is about 43 units per month against a national average of 25. Currently, domestic power tariff in Delhi is the lowest amongst all metros.

Delhi also tops in excessive peak demand. “Delhi’s peak demand has doubled in the last 10 years, growing faster than the population of the city. Delhi registered an all-time high peak demand in June last year at 6,006 MW. This demand was higher than the combined highest ever peaks of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh! CEA projects Delhi’s peak will cross 6,300 MW this year and 12,000 MW by 2021,” the analysis suggested.

Besides, the Capital witnesses nearly the same peak demand for electricity during day and night indicating enormous impact of air conditioners in middle-class homes. “The day peak builds up late in the afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and the second peak hits around midnight. There was barely any difference between night and day peaks during the month of May. For example, on May 24, while the day peak demand was 4667 MW the night peak demand was 5091 MW,” she said. adding that growing reliance on air conditioning upsets the energy balance in the city.

The CSE suggested Delhi government should introduce mandatory energy audit and consumption based energy billing to improve operational efficiency of all buildings. Also that it should make it obligatory for all buildings to disclose publicly the data on annual energy usage along with the built up area.

Govt must mandate energy audits, compulsory disclosure of annual energy consumption

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