Faced with a cash crunch, the Maharashtra government has decided to go green in a big way. It has set its sights on achieving an estimated Rs 119 crore annual savings, by making all existing government buildings energy efficient. The plan: it will take up retrofitting of conventional electrical appliances across 5,020 government buildings in the coming nine months.
Unable to bear upfront costs for the project, Maharashtra has secured funding from the Centre for the ambitious project. As part of the Centre’s initiative to ‘Make India Energy Efficient’, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) — a joint venture of Public Sector Undertakings and the Union Power Ministry — will implement the project, bearing the capital costs.
“The project requires a total investment of Rs 325 crore. The EESL will bear the entire cost,” said a senior government source who did not want to be named.
“The financing model does not entail any capital costs for the state government. Instead the EESL will be allowed to pocket 70 per cent of the annual energy saving for five years against the investment,” said a source with knowledge of the proposal.
Sources said Maharashtra’s Public Works Department (PWD), which oversees the day-to-day maintenance of all government buildings, and the EESL will sign an agreement next week to formalise the arrangement. According to the government’s assessment, the annual energy saving, following the completion of the project, would be to the tune of 124 million electrical units. At current rates, this amounts to an annual saving of Rs 119 crore. In other words, at these rates, the EESL’s share in the annual savings would be roughly Rs 83 crore, which would continue to be paid over five years. On the other hand, the Maharashtra government will save at least Rs 36 crore annually in energy bills, while making its offices more energy efficient.
While the EESL has entered into similar agreements in other states, sources said that Maharashtra’s retrofitting projects would be among its biggest initiatives so far. According to information, the EESL has plans to raise bonds for funding Maharashtra’s project. In the first phase of the project, the plan is to take up retrofitting in government offices in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad, Nashik, and Kolhapur.