Energy Conservation Day in India – but the message is important to all!

Every year, India celebrates National Energy Conservation Day on December 14th. The day is organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the Ministry of Energy to highlight India’s excellence in cost-effective energy production and resource conservation. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is a constitutional body supporting strategies and policies to reduce energy use. December 14th also serves as a platform to discuss further plans for the future, with holistic development as a key objective to mitigate climate change.
Energy Conservation Day is a brilliant idea to make people aware of the importance of energy and how to save or conserve more of it. The day’s main message is to highlight the importance of avoiding unnecessary energy use. And frankly, it is quite important because everyone’s behaviour has a significant effect on national and global success in the realm of energy use.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed a world changing in ways we never expected. Nowadays, many people have thoughts about energy saving amidst the current global affairs and situation. We are no longer in a situation to take all that we have for granted. It started with energy, but it could continue to develop into more significant issues with all of Earth’s resources that we are currently exhausting rapidly. Unfortunately, people have to conceptualize their energy use, which also brings more awareness to how we use and waste our energy.

National Energy Conservation Day

In India, the history of national energy conservation day goes back to 1991. It has been an annual celebration since then where people are kept in the loop regarding new courses of action and plans formulated by the government. It is a genuinely fantastic way to connect people to the issues they can impact. They are given information on what they can do, so they are given agency in the resolution, and they can genuinely feel that their impact matters. Of course, it is a national interest to advocate for these actions due to the growing population. Still, it is interesting to see how fiercely it contrasts with other parts of the world where resources are taken for granted.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India is responsible for assisting in developing and implementing policies and strategies to reduce excessive energy consumption. It also executed ‘the Energy Conservation Act’ in 2001. Part of the awareness campaign held every year on this day is distributing awards annually in 56 sub-sectors of the economy to recognize achievements regarding energy efficiency. The National Energy Conservation Awards Programme rewards the efforts of industry, institutions and facilities, from power plants to hotels and shopping malls. The BEE also presents awards to the National Painting Competition winners on the energy conservation theme.
Why has all this been important to India? As mentioned before, in many parts of the world, leaders recognize that the inefficient use of energy will lead to unpredictable crises in the future due to the lack of resources. As India’s population is rapidly growing, India’s need for resources might as well double by 2030. It is, therefore, incredibly important for the country to raise awareness.
What’s next for the rest of the world? It is now well-known that our oil reserves will run out in about 45-50 years, natural gas in 50.7 years, and although our coal reserves will last longer, we will also run out of coal in the next century. Therefore, it is essential to turn people’s attention to energy efficiency, and governments must act now to reduce their dependency and risk.

Andrea Nyilas is a Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability Consultant and a Sustainability and Environmental journalist. She holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University, in addition to a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the Corvinus University of Budapest. She is particularly interested in circular economy, natural resource management, and waste reduction.