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Saviours of energy

By Himanshu Kumar Singh

Rising oil prices and shrinking stocks of conventional energy has made the world to sit and focus on energy security. Economic players, be they public or private, are forced to think in terms of energy efficiency in lieu of rising energy bills which unnecessarily pushes the production cost. Wastage of energy can lead to financial losses which can sometimes assume enormous proportions. For example, government buildings in India pay about 600 crore rupees annually as electricity bills, of which the financial loss due to inefficient energy consumption is about 150 crore rupees. Nearly 25 percent of energy is wasted and if saved, many areas in India will not witness power cuts.

This being the scenario energy management has become an important concern for the government as well as the private companies. This is where an energy manager or an energy auditor comes into picture. What does an energy auditor or manager do? How one can become an energy auditor or energy manager? What are the qualifications needed? What is the scope of energy auditing in India? The rest of the article provides an analytical answer to these questions.

The Act

The Government of India brought the Energy Conservation Act 2001, which paved the way for the setting up of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in 2002, provides a legal framework for energy initiatives in the country. It will come into force in 2007 with all its implications. The Act, inter alia, mandates designated consumers of energy to get regular energy audits carried out. Establishments having a connected load of 500kVA and more, automatically come under the category of designated consumers.

The Act also envisages creation of cadre of professionally qualified energy managers and auditors with expertise in energy management, project management, financing and implementation of energy efficiency projects, as well as policy analysis. It is a law to force firms to make more profit and not an Act to control and monitor energy consumption of industry.

For certification of Energy Managers and Energy Auditors, BEE, through National Productivity Council has conducted two National Level Examinations first on May 22/23, 2004, second on May 28/29, 2005. The next examination is due in April 2006.

Role of an energy managers and energy auditors

Energy manager occupies an important position and is a focal point of all the activities pertaining to energy management in the organization. The energy manager provides leadership in the development of policy on Energy Management Action Plan and plays a key role in the formulation of corporate energy policy. Energy managers also perform the activities related with Energy Management, Project Management, Personnel Management and Financial Management at the plant level. He also prepares the information to be submitted to the Designated Agency with regard to the energy consumed and action taken on the recommendation of the Accredited Energy Auditor.

Energy audit involves a systematic study undertaken on major energy consuming sections and equipments including construction of heat and mass balance with a view to identify the flow of energy, efficient use of energy in each of the steps and pin-point wastage of energy. A well-conducted energy audit would reveal the areas of wastage of energy and it would lead to suggestions for possible energy savings in all sectors.

The Energy Conservation Act requires the energy audit report to contain recommendations for improving energy efficiency with cost benefit analysis and an action plan to reduce energy consumption. The conduct of energy audit and implementation of its recommendations on cost-benefit basis through accredited energy auditors is expected to help the designated energy consumers to achieve significant reduction in their energy consumption levels.

Certification of energy auditor is one of the prerequisites besides other criterions before he is considered for accreditation. It will be the accredited energy auditor who will be allowed to conduct the mandatory energy audit under the Energy Conservation Act 2001 and not the certified energy auditor

Eligibility

The candidates appearing for National Level Examinations for Accredition of Energy Auditors and Energy Managers, conducted by BEE, should have the following eligibility criteria and requisite work experience to write the Certification examination:

a) For Energy Managers:

Candidates appearing for Energy Managers certification examination should possess any one of the following qualifications: -

  • Graduate Engineer (B.E / B.Tech) or equivalent with 3 years of work experience.
  • Post Graduate Engineer (M.E / M.Tech) or equivalent with 2 years of work experience.
  • Graduate Engineer with Post Graduate degree in Management or equivalent with 2 years of work experience.
  • Diploma Engineer or equivalent with 6 years of work experience.
  • Post Graduate in Science with 5 years of work experience.

b) For Energy Auditors:

Candidates appearing for Energy Auditors certification examination should possess any one of the following qualifications: -

  • Graduate Engineer (B.E / B.Tech) or equivalent with 3 years of work experience.
  • Post Graduate Engineer (M.E / M.Tech) or equivalent with 2 years of work experience
  • Graduate Engineer with Post Graduate degree in Management or equivalent with 2 years of work experience.

c) For candidates without requisite work experience

  • The candidates possessing the requisite qualification but without required work experience are also eligible to appear in the written examination for Energy Manager or Energy Auditor as applicable.
  • Energy Manager candidates shall be awarded the certificates only on successful passing of the examination and on acquiring required work experience and submission of the proof thereon.
  • Energy Auditor candidates on successfully passing of the written examination shall be eligible to appear for viva-voce only after acquiring required work experience and submission of the proof thereon. Energy Auditor candidates shall be awarded certificates on successfully passing of the viva-voce examination.
  • The required work experience as applicable should be acquired within 6 years from the date of appearing in the first examination.

Amity Institute of Energy & Environment

Amity Institute of Energy & Environment has been running preparatory classes for aspiring candidates to take up the certification exams in Energy Audit and Energy Management being conducted by National Productivity Council on behalf of Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

The objective of this institute is to create awareness to the fact that energy is the back bone of any socio economic structure and to train professionals to take up energy auditing as their career. The Institute therefore intends to start programmes leading to MBA and PGDEM (1 year) very shortly. The Institute in the first instance has taken up the responsibility of imparting short duration packages relating to topical subjects on energy and environment.

Scope of the profession

The demand for energy managers is bound to improve in the near future. The Energy Conservation Act, 2001, makes energy audit and energy management an important and compulsory activity for organisations. With the soaring prices of energy, almost all consumers of energy (in any form) will have to be more conscious and concerned about energy usage. With time, new positions will be created in energy management alone. And there will be jobs in all manufacturing companies where energy is an important input.

 

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