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EESL has been making fast strides in multiple areas of energy efficiency, under Mr. Saurabh Kumar’s able stewardship, as it pushes to bring energy efficiency to the absolute forefront and galvanise the market. Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director – Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), talks about some ventures that will be market game-changers.

EESL has launched the Smart Meter National Programme with pilot projects in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Apart from being used to improve billing, what opportunities do you see in using advanced metering infrastructure for DSM and DR programmes in these states, as well as in DISCOMs in other states? Does EESL have plans to collaborate with utilities in developing DSM and DR programmes?

The EESL programme aims at connecting each consumer with a smart meter that will enable real time monitoring of data by the Utilities. The business case is based on increase in billing efficiency; and, avoided meter reading costs.

DSM and DR are value additions that will be added to the programme in the second phase. Given that DSM programmes have been initiated by almost all utilities and EESL having worked with them to develop their action plan, specific projects will be developed and will be put out for private investments once the installation and stabilisation of the smart meters have been completed.

In addition to UP and Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, AP and Gujarat have also indicated their interest in joining this programme.

EESL’s tender for 10,000 EVs and 4000 charging stations in NCR has got the EV market all charged up. Can EVs add to the demand management opportunities for DISCOMs in India? In other words, can the valley filling by way of night-time charging help DISCOMs optimise their assets?

EVs will become high value consumers for DISCOMs and will add to their demand. As regards valley filling, EESL will work with DISCOMs and Regulators to have special tariffs during off-peak hours to encourage the charging of these vehicles during that period. ToD exists for Industrial consumers and with charging stations having smart metering equipment, it will be a seamless application of ToD for DISCOMs.

What do you believe the approach should be for driving EE adoption in the MSME sector? Does EESL have plans to provide ESCO services to other MSME clusters, similar to its program to provide energy efficient power looms for small & medium textile units?

EESL has initiated 2 interventions in MSME sector:

GEF, under which 10 clusters have been identified along with a few technologies that are used by these clusters in large numbers. EESL will install efficient technologies as a demonstration using GEF grants and will then aggregate demand for these technologies. The technology implementation support will be provided in terms of PAY-As-YOU-Save approach by MSME which will include payment in instalments, installation and maintenance support, training, etc.

SAATHI, an intervention specific to textile and power loom sector where motors, efficient power looms, etc. will be provided in identified sectors.

ESCO intervention in MSME is difficult given the baseline challenges that exists and the low level of understanding in the sector. Further, small ticket sizes of project also make many of them unviable for ESCO intervention due to high transaction cost.

How do you think EESL could collaborate with DISCOMs and smaller ESCOs in scaling up energy efficiency, especially in the buildings and MSME sectors?

EESL has taken up aggregation of public buildings which it is currently implementing using its own resources. However, going forward, EESL will like to support DISCOMs to invite private capital to implement several interventions as identified in the DSM Action Plan. The availability of data as a result of the smart meters will significantly enhance the ability of DISCOMs to procure ESCO services and will also enable a lower risk regime for the sector.