IN A bid to improve energy efficiency in Maharashtra, the state government would conduct energy audits in 1,500 government offices. The announcement was made on Monday by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines. Goyal was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Badalta Maharashtra, a two-day conclave organised by Marathi daily Loksatta of The Indian Express Group.
The project will be implemented in under a year-and-a-half, said Goyal. According to Goyal, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a central government undertaking, will assist states with the mandate. “When the initiative is successfully implemented, it will be extended to schools, colleges and hospitals,” said Goyal. The EESL has now set up an office in London to help the city turn to energy efficient sources.
Goyal said the undertaking aims to sell 10 crore LED bulbs to consumers in London. The two-day event that starting Monday will see panel discussions on the health of the sector, renewable energy, research and innovation, Goyal said that losses incurred in the energy sector must not be passed on to consumers. The minister talked about the government’s measures to overturn the power sector in the past three years.
“The Ujwal Bharat Scheme launched by the government has made state distribution companies accountable to functioning more efficiently. Through the Urja mobile application, we have tried to bring in more transparency in our operations and data,” said Goyal adding that the government had brought down the peak energy deficit to 0.2 percent in the last three years.
Emphasising on the importance to protect the environment, Goyal said that the government is encouraging the use of LED lights and urging consumers to reduce wastage. Experts discussed the challenges in the power sector today during a panel discussion. While Shantanu Dixit, group coordinator of Prayas, a not-for-profit energy group, said that the open access system was a major challenge, energy activist Pratap Hogade said that reducing the average of supply was the need of the hour.
Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd, said that it is difficult to predict the demand of consumption and supply leading to uncertainty— the biggest impediment for the industry.