India: Leading on Energy Efficiency

In India, rapid urbanization, rising incomes, and skyrocketing development are resulting in increased energy demand and millions of new electricity consumers. The country is already seeing the impacts – a strained electric grid and a growing reliance on fossil fuels. Coal is on track to be the source of 50% of India’s power capacity in 2030.

As one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas producers, the Government of India (GOI) recognized that its energy path was unsustainable. In 2015, as part of their commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, GOI established its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce carbon emissions intensity by 33-­35% of its 2005 levels by 2030. India is taking proactive measures to limit carbon emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. A recent New York Times article pointed out that India is emerging on the world stage as a leader on green policies and technologies.

CLASP has worked in India since 2001, and even helped establish India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). CLASP provides a wide range of support to BEE to strengthen and accelerate India’s appliance energy efficiency policies, including supporting the development of India’s very first voluntary policies for air conditioners and refrigerators, implemented in 2007.

Read about some of India’s recent accomplishments related to appliance energy efficiency:

  • BEE, with CLASP support, developed the world’s first standards for LEDs in 2012 and LED street lights in 2016 and supported the development of an LED labeling program in 2016. These standards have laid the groundwork for India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) program, which is working to deploy nearly 800 million LED lights to residents throughout the country. Today, competitive bidding by manufacturers who participate in the UJALA program has led to sales of over 250 million certified LED lights and has brought the price per light down from around USD $5 to less than $1 per light in 2016.
  • CLASP is also collaborating with BEE to develop standards and labelling for chillers – central AC units for large commercial spaces – to avoid an estimated 27.12 Mt of CO2emissions in 2020. We are coordinating across Indian agencies to help develop a building code for the same.
  • Right now BEE is working on a groundbreaking plan to expand their appliance energy efficiency program to cover at least 30 products in the next three years. The next five products BEE will undertake are microwave ovens, set-top boxes, washing machines, computer monitors, cell phone chargers. Together they are projected to avoid 37.5 mtCO2e by 2030.
  • India has been successful at curbing energy consumption & carbon emissions in part because they pair their efficiency policies with market transformation programs – specifically bulk procurement, as described above. Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a public ESCO devoted to implementing energy efficiency program under the Ministry of Power and GOI, is expanding their bulk procurement program from three to five products. The program will now cover fans, motors, pumps, LEDs, and ACs. With recent support from the MacArthur Foundation, CLASP supports these programs by conducting testing to ensure the program delivers promised energy savings numbers.
  • CLASP and BEE developed a mobile app to give consumers on-demand access to the energy performance data in BEE’s product registry, due to a 2014 study indicating that 90% of Indian consumers use their smart phones to research product purchases. Consumers can use the app to easily compare labeled products before making a purchasing decision. The app was launched on December 14, 2015 and is available on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile platforms.


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