Ministry of Power Current Affairs - 2019

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Prepaid and smart metering for electricity

Minister of Power and New & Renewable energy R.K Singh has said that in the next three years electricity metering will go smart and prepaid. He has also asked the manufacturers to scale up manufacturing of smart prepaid meters and to work towards bringing down their prices.

Why the Pitch for Smart meters?

The Power Ministry is pushing for smart prepaid meters for the following reasons:

  • Smart and pre-paid metering will aid in making state utilities more efficient and bringing down their losses in the past.
  • It will incentivise energy conservation.
  • Maintaining the better financial health of DISCOMs.
  • Enhancing the ease of bill payments.
  • Reducing AT&C losses.

The minister has assured the smart meter manufacturers of steady demand as the government is planning to make smart metering mandatory after a particular date. On a pilot basis, the prepaid meters are being deployed in Uttar Pradesh as part of the Saubhagya scheme which aims to electrify over four crore households till December this year.

Power Ministry launches Chiller Star Labelling Program on energy efficiency in chillers

Union Ministry of Power has launched Chiller Star Labelling Program to encourage deployment of energy efficient chiller systems in the country. It was launched as part of occasion of 24th World Ozone Day and 31st Anniversary of Montreal Protocol, which will be observed on 16th September 2018.

Chiller Star Labelling Program

The program was formulated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). It envisages providing star rating in terms of its energy performance. Initially, the program has been launched on voluntary basis and will be valid upto 31st December 2020. BEE has developed online registration platform for easy and expeditious approval under this program. It will allow manufacturers to register online for availing appropriate star rating of chiller equipment. Based on test certificate from designated agencies and after due verification from BEE, star label on the scale of 1 (less efficient) to 5 (most efficient).

Significance of star labelling of chillers

It will help promote advancement technology for central HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and will also facilitate energy efficient solutions for large commercial and industrial applications. It will also help to save more than 500 million units of electricity in 2019 along with Green House Gases reduction of 0.5 million-ton equivalent of CO2. It will also save more than 4 billion units of electricity by 2030 with CO2 emission reduction of 3.5 million ton.

Background

Chillers are used extensively for space conditioning of buildings and for industrial process cooling applications. The size of Indian chiller market which stood at 1 Million Tonne per year at 2017 and is projected to grow at CAGR of 3.6% fuelled by growth in the retail, hospitality and infrastructure projects. Chillers, being energy intensive system, contribute more than 40% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings. Therefore, it is important to optimize energy performance of chillers and create awareness amongst the end users to adopt transition towards energy efficient chillers.