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Potential for Savings in Bangalore Power Consumption via BESCOM Incentives for Buildings

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Bangalore (and Karnataka), like most cities and states in India is facing a power deficit.  One way around to solve this issue is to implement energy conservation measures.  The terminology in the power industry for this is called demand side management (DSM).  Some DSM measures are familiar to us Bangaloreans - encouragement / rebates for using solar water heaters, schemes for distributing CFL lamps, and more recently, the switch your refrigerator off for one hour during peak hours campaign.  All these are techniques of demand side management.

It is a well known fact that most modern buildings in India, particularly the air-conditioned ones are energy guzzlers.  There is huge scope for improving the energy efficiency in these buildings.  A studny done by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) while creating their ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code) estimated 25-40% savings, on an average.

The BEE has put in a process of giving a star rating to buildings based on their category and energy consumption.  A one star building is very energy inefficient and 5 star building is efficient (Since the benchmark is a survey of Indian buildings, it is important to state that a 5 star building is energy efficient by India standards).

I did some simple calculations.  Assume that there is 75 million sq ft of Grade-A office space in Bangalore.  Assume that all of these are single shift offices(!). Similarly, assume 20 million square feet of mall area.  Of this assume 75% is air-condirtioned space and that all the buildings operate at the median energy efficiency levels.  Assume that there is a potential for 25% savings using energy conservation measures. Note that all of these are conservative estimates.  The commercial square footage is increasing at an average of about 8% a year.

The calculation yielded an energy saving of 297 million units (kWh) of electricity a year).  Assuming these buildings work 10 hours a day on average, you are talking a savings of 81 MW of capacity. These is besides the savings on diesel an efficient building owner will make during load shedding.

So my suggestion is

A. BESCOM team up with BEE and publish a scheme where they get a discount on their electricity bill based on the STAR rating of the building.

B. A star rated building will have to put a prominent sign which will act as social pressure on building owners

C. BESCOM will save money since lower power demand helps them adjust mix of electricity to lower average cost.

Edited on 09 July 2012 to correct an error. In Para 4, I had written "Assume that there is 75 million sq ft of Grade-A office space in India." Changed that to Bangalore :-)


sanjayv's picture

Just a first thought

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The above is just a first, preliminary, conservative calculation.  I am sure the calc underestimates savings significantly.  This can be developed into a more concrete proposal. Mushc of the frame work is already in place, thanks to the BEE.

murali772's picture

but, then - -

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The problem with this solution is that it is targeted at the high slab customers of BESCOM, whom they would like to supply more and bill more in order to meet the cross-subsidy element they are burdened with. As such, unless the government takes on the subsidy burden, this may not be workable for BESCOM.

Now, the fact of the matter is that a large part of the subsidy burden is supposedly already being borne by the government. But, this is largely on paper, since the money reaches BESCOM almost a year later, on an average, if at all - check this.

Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

Not necessarily a "But"

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This is not necessarily a "but".  There are many ways of doing this.   There are already many building energy conservation measures that have payback times of 2 years or less. heck, there are some with 6 months payback  Reducing some load has the benefit to BESCOM of not having to buy the more expensive electricity and optimizing their mix. 

One can avoid the subsidy element entirely by making this a mix.  A energy 1 star building pays higher than normal rate.  A energy 5 star building pays less than normal rate.  A 3 star (average) building pays the normal tarriff.  Buildings that are not star rated and those who are not in process  - pay the 1 star rate :-).  The star rating process itself is actually quite cheap.

We are talking precious resources.  Some corecion and some incentives will go a long way. Under the EC Act  state and central govts have enough teeth to enforce measures like this.

PS: Finally, companies in the power and water business are stewards of our precious natural resources (not to mention the climate change angle).  We cannot afford to not promote conservation.

Mani1972's picture

This is a move in right

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This is a move in right direction. Murali sir's point is also right. We need to take a balanced view. Sanjay is in touch with me. We will be discussing this issue mostly by the month end. Please check my Facebook page for further update on this.



srinidhi's picture

LEED certification shd help

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  • LEED certified building are thought to incorporate energy saving and governament should start giving subsidies or special considerations for such energy efficient buildings
  • low cost Passive Infra Reds (PIRs) to switch-off lighting when areas are unnoccupied such as toilets, corridors or even office areas out-of-hours..this is based on personell movement..
  • About AC in buidings, it is said that the cost of replacing an older chiller with a newer, energy-efficient unit is quickly offset by lower maintenance and electricity costs.
  • Common areas and street lighting can be switched over to alternate lighting, that is every other light in the series is switched off during non peak hours.
  • Use of natural light need to be encouraged wherever possible needs to be encouraged comment guidelines

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