Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022: Government introduces Energy Conservation Bill in Rajya Sabha

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Source: The post is based on the article “Government introduces Energy Conservation Bill in Rajya Sabha” published in The Hindu on 9th December 2022

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Power has introduced the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022 in Rajya Sabha.

The Bill proposes to amend the Electricity Conservation Act 2001 (last amended in 2010), to introduce changes such as incentivising the use of clean energy by issuing carbon-saving certificates.

What are the key provisions of the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022?

Obligation to use non-fossil sources of energy: The Act empowers the central government to specify energy consumption standards. The Bill adds that the government may require the designated consumers to meet a minimum share of energy consumption from non-fossil sources.  Different consumption thresholds may be specified for different non-fossil sources and consumer categories. 

Carbon trading: The Bill empowers the central government to specify a carbon credit trading scheme. Carbon credit implies a tradeable permit to produce a specified amount of carbon emissions.  

Standards for vehicles and vessels: Under the Act, the energy consumption standards may be specified for equipment and appliances which consume, generate, transmit, or supply energy.

The Bill expands the scope to include vehicles (as defined under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988), and vessels (including ships and boats).

Applicability to residential buildings: Under the Act, the energy conservation code applies to commercial buildings: (i) erected after the notification of the code, and (ii) having a minimum connected load of 100 kilowatts (kW) or contract load of 120-kilo volt-ampere (kVA).

– Under the Bill, the new energy conservation and sustainable building code will also apply to office and residential buildings meeting the above criteria.

Regulatory powers of SERCs: The Act empowers the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to adjudge penalties under the Act. The Bill adds that SERCs may also make regulations for discharging their functions.

Composition of the governing council of BEE: The bill strengthens institutions such as the BEE by amending the composition of the governing council of BEE.

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