The government has taken a very welcome initiative in issuing energy conservation norms for the construction industry, given that this is a direction in which not too much effort has been spent, barring by a minority group of conservationists. If this move can be effectively implemented, it would go a long way in containing wastages and, thereby, demand for fuel and electricity.
Efficient use of energy calls for intervention at two levels. The first is at the equipment level—that is, the air conditioners, lighting, appliances and so on used in new buildings. And the second at the building level itself, such as insulation techniques. Mandatory norms are needed at both levels, while as of now, only a beginning has been made.
The most important issue is that of monitoring, once these norms are made mandatory. But past experience of power sector reforms raises a doubt. The Centre has spent Rs10,000 crore over the past five years for reducing T&D losses, but this has had only a marginal impact so far.