THE ENERGY CONSERVATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022 and its features

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Kaustav Ghosh

BackgroundTHE ENERGY CONSERVATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022 was introduced in Loksabha to further amend the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. This bill was introduced in the Loksabha, the lower chamber of the Parliament, on 3rd August, 2022. Before we discuss the features of this bill lets discuss the intention of the legislator to enact Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

As per the Act itself THE ENERGY CONSERVATION Act, 2001 was introduced for ensuring efficient use of energy and its conservation. The word ‘conservation’ can be described as protection, preservation and careful use of some natural substances. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Conservation of energy as “the total energy of an isolated system remains constant irrespective of whatever internal changes may take place with energy disappearing in one form reappearing in another”. William Rankine was the first person who used the phrase ‘the law of the conservation of energy for the principle and J.R.Mayer discovered the law of the conservation of energy.

Conservation of energy secures future of our future. It has been given importance from the time immemorial because without the conservation and proper use of energy present will be futile and future will be thrown into dark dungeon. May be this is why from the era of Thales of Miletus to Sir Einstein to todays I.T generation this topic was given utmost importance.

It was the last decade of the twentieth century and whole world was under a huge transition. India was not an exception in this scenario. It was the need of the hour to have a codified, clear and consolidated legislation on the conservation of energy. So THE ENERGY CONSERVATION Act, 2001 was enacted.

The amendment and its feature– This bill was introduced to amend certain provisions of the ENERGY CONSERVATION Act, 2001 (Hereinafter referred to as the Principal Act). This bill intends to slightly change the meaning of building under Section 2 clause (c).

Two new definition clause was inserted after Section 2 clause (d)

‘(da) “carbon credit certificate” means the certificate issued by the Central
Government or any agency authorised by it under section 14AA;
(db) “carbon credit trading scheme” means the scheme for reduction
of carbon emissions notified by the Central Government under clause (w) of
section 14;’

A new definition clause was inserted after Section 2 clause (q)

‘(qa) “registered entity” means any entity, including designated
consumers, registered for carbon credit trading scheme specified under
clause (w) of section 14;’

Two new definition clause was inserted after Section 2 clause (t)

‘(ta) “vehicle” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (28)
of section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988;
(tb) “vessel” includes every description of water craft used or capable of
being used in inland waters or in coastal waters, including any ship, boat,
sailing vessel, tug, barge or other description of vessel including
non-displacement craft, amphibious craft, wing-in-ground craft, ferry,
roll-on-roll-off vessel, container vessel, tanker vessel, gas carrier or floating unit or dumb vessel used for transportation, storage or accommodation within or through inland waters and coastal waters;’

The number of the members in the Governing Council of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under Section 4(1) of the Principal Act was not less than twenty but not exceeding twenty six. New amendment proposes the number of members “thirty-one, but not exceeding thirty-seven”.

Section 4(2) of the Principal Act deals with who will be the member of the Governing Council. New amendment ensure inclusion of the Secretary to the Government of India, in charge of the Ministry or Department of the Central Government dealing with the Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Housing and Urban Affairs, Road Transport and Highways, Steel, Civil Aviation, Ports Shipping and Waterways, Member of the Railway Board (in charge of Energy), Ministry of Railways, Director-General of the National Productivity Council, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry as the ex-officio member to the Governing Council.

Section 13 of the Principal Act, 2001 deals with the power and function of the Bureau. New amendment intends to increase the power and function of the said Bureau by inserting-

“(ta) collaborate with any international institution or organisation or to
obtain membership of bodies having similar objectives as that of the Bureau, in consultation with the Central Government;
(tb) authorise any agency in the country or outside the country to carry
out any of the functions of the Bureau, for such purposes, and subject to such terms and conditions, as may be specified by regulations;
(tc) undertake, or authorise any other body which meets with such
technical qualifications, as may be specified by regulations, to test samples for purposes other than those specified in section 14;
(td) empanel technical experts to promote energy efficiency and carbon
credit trading activities undertaken to meet the objectives of the Act;
(te) recommend to the Central Government on the requirements to be
specified in the carbon credit trading scheme to be notified under clause (w) of section 14;
(tf) recommend minimum share of consumption of non-fossil sources by
designated consumers as energy or feedstock;”.

The insertion of new Section 13A to the Principle Act is introduced through the amendment to ensure “no person shall, without previous permission of the Bureau, use any name which so nearly resembles the name of the Bureau as to deceive or likely to deceive the public”. This section also states that notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no registering authority shall register any company, firm or other body of persons which bears any name or mark resembling the name of the Bureau.

This new amendment proposes another new section (Section 14AA) to the Principal Act. This new section paved way for the Central Government or any agencies authorised by the Central Government that it may issue carbon credit certificate to the registered entity which complies with the requirements. This new section also mentioned that those registered entity shall be entitled to purchase or sell the carbon credit certificate in accordance with carbon credit trading scheme specified under clause (w) of section 14.”

The new section 15A laid down a guidelines by which the designated agency shall prepare, in such form and at such time in each financial year as may be prescribed, its budget for the next financial year, showing the estimated receipts and expenditure and forward the same to the State Government, which shall include the same in the annual budget.

Section 27A is introduced by the new amendments which will empower the State Commission to make regulation for discharging its function under this Act.

ConclusionTHE ENERGY CONSERVATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022 was introduced in Loksabha on 3rd August, 2022 and it was passed in the Loksabha on 08th August, 2022. After passing through all other formalities it will be go to the President of India for getting its Assent. Then this bill will become Act and it will be in force. I want to acknowledge the help I get from the website of the Parliament of India without which this article would not have been completed.

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