Industry given 5 years time to adopt EnCon

CHENNAI DEC. 4. Which is the most effective instrument for inculcating the culture of efficient use of energy — the tariff structure or consumer cooperation?

Industry and the government seem to be having different answers to this question.

According to the Secretary to the Union Ministry of Power, R. V. Shahi, who inaugurated a two-day EnCon Technology Meet as part of the fifth biennial Energy Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SR) today, industry should extend its cooperation in minimising the high level of transmission and distribution (T and D) losses incurred by the electricity boards by way of thefts and leakages arising from inadequacies in the technical infrastructure.

Once the losses of the boards are reduced, they would be in a position to adopt a rational tariff that did not penalise industrial consumers of power for no fault of theirs, he said.

However, spokesmen of industry said that a rational power tariff that did not encourage wasteful consumption of energy by sections of subsidised consumers was a prerequisite for energy conservation.

Mr. Shahi said that as much as one-third of the power generated was being lost in the T and D process, and as a result the access to power in rural areas was less than indicated by the extent of coverage of electrification.

Referring to the Energy Conservation Act 2001, he said the government had provided a timeframe of five years for industry to adopt practices ensuring efficient use of energy.

After five years, its provisions empowering the government to prescribe and enforce industry sector-wise standards of power consumption per unit of production, and standards of equipment, labelling of power consumption parameters of domestic appliances, energy audit, building codes and the like would take effect, with scope for imposing penalties for violation.

The Chairman of the CII-SR, T. Kannan, wanted the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to offer hands-on training facilities to engineering graduates.

The past-President of the CII and former chairman of the multinational ABB, K. N. Shenoy, said public-private partnership (PPP) was vital for resolving pending issues in power sector reform.

A Senior Energy and Environment Adviser to the USAID, S. Padmanabhan, pointed out that the success of laws on energy conservation adopted as early as in the Seventies by the U.S. and Japan was due largely to the harmonisation of the policy framework with the market mechanism.

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