Audit means a methodical examination and review. Energy audit therefore means an examination of a system or utility for best practices in energy utilization. The energy audit can be considered as a first step towards understanding how energy is being used in a given facility. It indicates the ways in which thermal/electrical energy is being used and quantifies energy use according to discrete functions.
Energy cost is a significant factor in economic activity. The imperatives of energy shortage call for energy conservation measures, which essentially mean using less primary energy for the same level of activity or output. Improving energy efficiency is a national as well as global mission. Energy audit helps in energy cost optimization, green house gas mitigation and suggests the method to improve the operation and maintenance practices of the system.
The energy audit is instrumental in coping with the situation of variation in energy cost, availability, reliability of energy supply, decision on appropriate energy mix, decision on using improved energy conservation equipments, instrumentation and technology. It provides necessary information base for overall energy conservation programmes and is a vital link in the entire management chain. Energy management in turn can be constructed as the process of guiding and controlling energy users so as to yield maximum possible output per unit of energy input.
Energy Conservation Act -2001 provides for efficient use of energy and its conservation. Under the Act, it is mandatory for all designated consumers to get energy audit conducted by an accredited energy auditor. Power intensive sectors like cement, aluminum and steel industry, Electricity transmission and distribution companies, Transport sector, Commercial buildings or establishment etc. are categorized as designated consumers.
The conduct of energy audit and implementation of its recommendation on cost-benefit basis through accredited energy auditors is expected to help the designated energy consumers to achieve significant reduction in energy consumption levels. Under the provisions of Energy conservation Act, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been established from March 2002 under the Ministry of Power.
National Certification Examination
According to National Productivity Council (NPC), India needs up to 10,000 Energy Auditors and up to 50,000 Energy Managers. NPC is a pioneer in energy auditing and is among the sixty two BEE accredited energy auditing agencies. BEE has also appointed NPC as the main agency for conducting National Certification Examinations for energy auditors and managers.
To make available the services of qualified professionals to designated consumers, Bureau of Energy Efficiency has introduced National Certification Examination for Energy Managers and Energy Auditors. A national level certification examination establishes a uniform criterion for the certification of the energy managers/energy auditors and will also ensure that services of qualified persons, having the requisite knowledge are available to the industry.
Any post graduate, graduate or diploma engineer and post graduate in science with requisite experience can sit for National Certification Examination being conducted annually for Energy Manager by National Productivity Council under the aegis of Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The minimum qualification for appearing in Energy Auditor examination is a graduate or post graduate degree in engineering.
Curriculum and fee
For Energy manager’s exam there are three papers viz., General aspect of Energy management and Energy Audit, Energy Efficiency in Thermal Utilities and Energy Efficiency in Electrical Utilities. These three papers are common to Energy Auditors exam as well besides an open book exam on ‘Energy Performance Assessment for Equipment and Utility Systems’. A candidate qualifying as Certified Energy Auditor automatically qualifies for Certified Energy Manager as well. Energy Managers may appear in and qualify the fourth paper and can be upgraded to Energy Auditor. Accreditation is valid for a period of five years and can be renewed after appearing in some sort of refresher course. The exam is conducted throughout India at several centres. There is a provision of online registration. The examination fee for sponsored candidates is Rs. 20,000 and for self sponsored candidates it is Rs. 10,000 only. Guide books are provided to all registered candidates. These books may be downloaded from Bureau’s website by Energy conservation enthusiasts. Model question papers and previous years question papers can also be downloaded from BEE’s website. Moreover, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) organizes a five day preparatory course for candidates appearing in national certification examination.
Education in Energy auditing
Devi Ahilya University, Indore offers in distance education mode a six semesters M. Tech. in Energy Management with a provision of P.G. Advance Diploma in Energy Auditing after completion of three semesters. Mata Vaishno Devi university of Katra also offers an M.Tech in Energy management. Anybody wanting to have an insight on Energy auditing and conservation must consult ‘Energy Auditing Made Simple’ by P. Balasubramanian an accredited Energy Auditor. This book has a very amusing chapter titled ‘In the wonderful world of Energy Auditors’.
Author is senior lecturer Physics, NIT Srinagar