Low-key response for DIY energy audit seminar


 It was lackluster reaction from the local industry to the seminar ‘Energy Conservation Energy Audit- Do It Yourself,’ organised by the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), New Delhi, on Wednesday.
Although energy cost is a significant factor in economic activity and optimum use of energy is important for its conservation as well as improving the operating practices of a company, the seminar was a tame affair with expert speakers receiving muted feedback from audience.  
Speaking to The Navhind Times, Mr R B Mane, joint director, PCRA, said that although attendance was satisfactory, the quality of participants differed a lot from that observed in Maharashtra where similar seminars are regularly held. Thus, the expectation was that decision makers from the shop floor would attend to evaluate or put into practices the energy saving tips given by experts. Instead participants turned out to be regular engineers and also post-graduate students who had yet to gain experience in day-to-day manufacturing.  
Mr Mane said that the purpose of the seminar was “to educate industry in Goa on doing their own energy audits instead of appointing outside auditors.” He attributed the low key response to lack of awareness of local manufacturer’s vis-à-vis their counterparts in industrially developed states.
On the other hand, Mr K G Purandare, an independent energy auditor and speaker, said that knowledge of energy audit was quite satisfactory in Goa, but the problem was in the small and micro units. Mr Purandare added that although entrepreneurs can conduct their own energy audit, experience showed that most preferred to have a third party opinion and hence professional auditor. Further, he had conducted about 40 energy audits for companies in Goa of which 30 were in the pharmaceutical sector.  
The Energy Conservation Act 2001 makes it mandatory for industries categorised as designated consumers (DC) to go in for energy audit every three years. In all there are about nine DC sectors with energy consumption above a certain threshold. They belong to industries such as thermal power, steel, transport etc.
PCRA officials said that energy conservation is essential to cut down on the import bill and in India there are about 700 units as DCs of which 200 companies are in Maharashtra alone. In comparison, the number of DCs in Goa can counted on the fingers with Zuari, Reliance Power and Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) as among the few.  
The DIY energy audit seminar was organized by PCRA-Western Region, the Institute of Engineers and the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI). It was a daylong seminar, held in sessions with Dr Pramod Pathak, Goa Energy Development Association (GEDA) as the chief guest. [NT]