The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) of India implemented the Energy Conservation Act in 2001, on this very same day, deeming December 14 as National Energy Conservation Day. Energy conservation refers to the prudent use of available resources and the prevention of energy wastage through efficient methods.
The objective of the Energy Conservation Act in India is to appoint professional, qualified, and energetic managers and auditors who have expertise in policy-making, financial management, and implementation of energy-related projects.
Energy Efficiency Bureau (BEE) is a constitutional body that works under the Government of India and helps in the development of policies and strategies to reduce the use of energy. Several activities have been undertaken by public power companies as part of the celebrations for National Energy Conservation Day.
What are private companies doing for energy conservation?
Corporations are considered electricity guzzlers. However, in recent decades, responsible businesses like ITC, Godrej and their peers are putting energy conservation at the top of their priority list. The focus on ESG has also made energy management important across the board. Here are the latest energy conservation initiatives by top companies in India.
Over 72% of the company’s energy needs are met from renewable energy sources. Marico’s energy conservation initiatives focus on optimising energy consumption, installing energy efficient systems and technologies as well as transitioning to renewable sources. This is in line with the Decade of Action (2030) commitments towards transitioning to carbon neutral operations for all facilities and mitigating value chain climate impact in line with the 1.5 degrees scenario.
In FY21, a host of tech-enabled energy efficient measures were implemented across Marico’s facilities that led to total energy savings of 3,79,123 kWh/annum. Some of the key interventions deployed across facilities include improving operational efficiency of copra crushing process, installation of high-speed machinery that optimise consumption patterns, elimination of energy-intensive grinders and installation of automatic streetlight sensors, motion sensors for LED lights and photoconductivity principle-based Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) lighting units.
In FY21, three of Marico’s facilities – Jalgaon, Perundurai and Puducherry – transitioned to 100% renewable sources to meet their thermal energy requirements. Rooftop solar installations of 450 kWp at Jalgaon and 250kWp at Sanand facility were completed. At the Perundurai unit, 99% of the electricity was procured from renewable sources like wind, rooftop solar facility of 250 kWp and biomass. The expansion programme for the Perundurai facility has been centred around smart energy upgrades, including the installation of high-speed machinery to enhance overall productivity and operational efficiency. These alternate energy installations at factory locations have helped reduce carbon emissions from energy consumption in FY21 by 4,957 tonnes CO2e.
The Mahindra Group
The Mahindra Group is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 – the four big drivers for the decarbonisation of all Group companies being energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric mobility and offsetting. Some of the key initiatives and successes include Mahindra Holidays, Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd., (MHEL) becoming India’s first and the world’s third manufacturing unity to double its energy productivity in 2020 (baseline 2016), achieving the goal within four years. Mahindra & Mahindra has deployed more than 100 energy efficiency projects within the auto Group alone; energy used to produce a vehicle is 67% less than what it was eight years ago.
Twenty Mahindra companies have also committed to the Science-based Targets Initiative, pledging to set science-based emissions reduction targets and align business strategies with steps to reduce global warming. Other Group-wide initiatives include the adoption of technology for energy-efficient lighting, air-conditioning, motors and appliances; business process re-engineering to reduce energy requirements; heat recovery projects to re-use waste heat, and construction to reduce the need for energy. As Chairman Anand Mahindra said, “… we need to walk the talk. I’ve committed our Group to this stretch goal because I believe it will drive innovation and lead to new business incubation.”
It is indeed satisfying that over 41% of the company’s total energy consumption is today from renewable sources, despite a growing manufacturing footprint. The company has set a target of achieving a 50% share of renewable energy in its total energy mix, and meeting 100% of purchased grid electricity requirements from renewable sources. It is targeting a reduction of 50% in specific GHG emissions and a 30% reduction in specific energy consumption by 2030 across businesses (2018-19 baseline). It also engages with its major supply chain partners for monitoring and improving their energy performance and progressively including them within the sustainability reporting boundary. To further mitigate value chain impact, steps are being taken for reducing energy consumption in the transportation of raw materials, finished goods and waste.
In 2020-21, ITC units consumed 22,369 Terra Joules (TJ) of energy, lower by about 6.2% due to the ongoing pandemic. Of the total energy requirement, 41.3% was met from renewable sources – biomass, wind and solar. In 2020-21, the investments in energy conservation equipment has resulted in saving of 190 TJ which is equivalent to 21,468 tonnes of GHG emissions (Scopes 1 & 2). Energy conservation measures adopted across ITC units:
– Installation of new energy-efficient electric boilers
– Installation of Vapour Absorption Machine (VAM)
– Optimisation of compressed air through measures such as intelligent flow controller and additional compressor to manage low-pressure load etc.
– Installation of zero air-loss moisture removal traps for compressed air system.
– Automation in tube cleaning systems in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) chillers resulting in higher efficiency.
– Advanced dirt separator system in chilled water line of HVAC. • Replacement of cooling tower, AHUs, chillers, compressors, motors, fans, pumps and agitators with higher efficiency ones.
– Replacement of steam heated equipment such as pressing machine, laundry driers, dishwashing machine etc. with energy efficient electrically heated ones.
– Improvement in energy usage efficiency in lighting systems by changing over to efficient lighting solutions such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
– Process improvements to enhance productivity and reduce specific energy consumption across Businesses.
HDFC Bank plans to become carbon neutral by 2031-32. As part of this initiative, the Bank is looking at reducing its emissions, energy, and water consumption. It will continue to incorporate and scale up the use of renewable energy in its operations. HDFC Bank is developing an internal framework to track and measure its carbon footprint. The bank has taken the following initiatives to reduce the overall consumption of energy and conserve water at the branches:
– 3 star and above rated appliances used and regular maintenance carried out to ensure efficiency
– Replacement of Tube/CFL lights with LED lights (69% branches currently use LED lighting)
– Implementation of switch rooms across 384 branches resulting in reduced air-conditioning usage (both in running hours and temperature settings), leading to decrease in electricity bill units by 14%
– Replacement of Uninterruptible Power Supply UPS with new energy ecient devices; reduction of UPS capacity by 50% (equivalent to 750 KVA)
– Replacement of bottled drinking water with water puriers
– Installation of sensor-based taps at corporate oce and other select oce locations
Godrej & Boyce
Godrej & Boyce believes that energy is a vital gear for driving a greener and cleaner future. The company is entrenching an energy efficient culture through improved operational efficiencies, energy conservation mechanisms and increased focus on inclusion of renewable sources into the energy mix.
G&B has the goal to improve energy productivity by 100% by 2030. The company intends to use 40% renewable energy in its manufacturing facilities across the country over the next three years. G&B has generated 23% revenue has been accrued from Good & Green products. Fuel consumed includes high speed diesel, piped natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, furnace oil, biomass energy, energy from grid electricity and solar energy.
Energy management has assumed a large role in sustainable and inclusive growth at Godrej & Boyce. With humble beginnings as an energy conservation cell way back in 1980, new dimensions such as green certification, carbon foot printing and sustainability reporting have been added. The Vikhroli manufacturing facility has maintained unity power factor for more than two decades, resulting in substantial cost savings. Godrej & Boyce is conscious of the preparedness required to meet the potential future scenarios related to energy consumption. In line with its commitment, the Company invested Rs. 6.7 crore during the reporting period in various energy efficiency initiatives that resulted in savings of over 21 lakh kWh of electricity per annum. Key initiatives were related to optimisation of Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), Compressed air system, Pumps and motors, Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and lighting.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
TCS saw a year-on-year reduction in absolute energy use by 46.6 percent in MWh and an absolute carbon footprint reduction (across Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 48.8% (in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This reduction was not commensurate to the extremely low occupancy because some utilities had to be run to maintain the infrastructure. TCS’ specific greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 + Scope 2) comes to 0.54 tCO2e/ FTE (Full Time Equivalent)/Annum in the current reporting year, a reduction of 53% year-on-year. This is estimated with the actual carbon footprint and a notional FTE (working out of TCS offices), considering an increase of 8.23% in the FTE over the last year due to the pandemic.
Total renewable energy used – rooftop solar power plants and through power purchase agreements – was 45.5 million units amounting to 15.6% of the total electricity consumption. Tata Consultancy Services achieved the target power utilization efficiency (PUE) of 1.65 across 21 of 23 target data centers. The company has also taken up additional 44 data centers for this initiative and reduced weighted average PUE of all DCs to 1.77 in reporting year from 2.4 in 2017. The company has focused on temporary closure of ODCs and hub rooms as SBWSTM was approved by customers and all stakeholders, leading to further reduction in energy consumption. The investment in IoT based energy management system helped TCS to define a new normal of consumption profile, leveraging cognitive AI/ML algorithms and monitoring performance against it to drive efficiency.
5 ways you can save energy as a responsible citizen
1. Switch Off
One of the best energy saving devices at your fingertips is the switch. Keep turning off all lights, fans, computers, televisions, ACs and all other electrical appliances when not in use.
2. Use LED and BEE 5-Star Rated Appliances
Use appliances that consumer less energy. Use LED instead of regular bulbs to save energy. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has introduced a power savings guide for electrical appliances. The guide uses a 5 star rating system with 5 stars being the most energy efficient. Buy electrical appliances, which have a minimum 3-star BEE rating label.
3. Switch off from the plug point
TVs, computers, mobile chargers, music systems, AC adaptors and cordless telephones are some of the devices which should be switched off from the plug point. Unplugging devices reduces energy consumption to zero.
4. Lower the use of electric cooling and heating appliances
Heating and cooling like air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators and irons consume over 50% of our household energy. For e.g., use solar powered water heaters instead of electric geysers.
5. Save Natural Resources
Save fuel by carpooling and choosing public transport. Save water by using water sensibly. Plant or adopt a tree to save nature. Use cloth bags instead of plastics as they are recyclable. Save paper by recycling old newspapers and notebooks.