In this era of emerging technologies, electrical and electronic appliances are increasingly becoming an indispensable part of our lives. We all depend on a host of electronic appliances to get us through our day. It is only natural that we often find ourselves looking for smart solutions to optimise the usage of our appliances. The good news is that such smart solutions can now find their way into our homes and that too, on a budget!
Have you ever spent your summer afternoons at home feeling the heat or wondering why your air conditioning is taking too long to kick in?
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CAG continued with its efforts to promote energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy among school children. After receiving a good response from students for the online quiz competitions conducted between June and December 2020, Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) continued the competitions through the months of January to March 2021 for school students from grades 6 to 12 in Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore.
The quiz was divided into a) electricity governance: considering the increasing necessity of electricity in our day-to-day life, it is important to understand how the electricity sector works in the state. b) energy efficiency: avoiding unnecessary consumption, and efficient usage of electricity are also important aspects to be considered. c) renewable energy: an important aspect of sustainable living and the future scope of electricity.
A total of around 1500 students participated in the quiz. The following chart gives the number of participants from each of the 7 ECC districts.
Image 1- number of students participated on quiz
A certificate of participation was issued to all the students, a sample of which is attached below:
Image 2- sample participation certificate
An analysis of responses given by participants, indicate that more than 40% of the questions from each topic answered correctly (image 3).
Image 3 - Overview of marks scored in each topic
This reflects that the students have displayed some awareness on the above mentioned topics. While this is encouraging, persistent efforts to increase the awareness levels is necessary. CAG will continue to engage with school children on widening their knowledge on energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy.
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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situation, several schools initiated online classes., Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) undertook an online quiz competition to inculcate interest and enhance knowledge on electricity governance, energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy. Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) also created videos on how the electricity bill is calculated during lockdown period in Tamil Nadu (English and Tamil) and how it used to be calculated before the pandemic (English and Tamil).
The online quiz competitions were held from the month of June to September 2020. They were conducted for school students of grades 6 to 12in Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore. The competition was organised by the Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs), an initiative of CAG.
The quiz was divided into a) Electricity governance: considering the increasing necessity of electricity in our day-to-day life, it is important to understand how the electricity sector works in the state. b) Energy efficiency: avoiding unnecessary consumption, and efficient usage of electricity are also important aspects to be considered. c) Renewable energy: an important aspect of sustainable living and the future scope of electricity.
Totally around 5,300 students participated in the quiz and the below chart gives the number of participants from each of the 7 ECC districts.
Image 1 - No. of students participated in the online quiz competition
A certificate of participation was issued to all the students on their successful participation. A sample certificate of participation is attached below:
Image 2 - Sample certification of participation
From the responses given by the participants, it was found that more than 50% of the questions from each topic were answered correctly (image 3).
Image 3 - Overview of marks scored in each topic
This reflects that the students have some awareness on the above mentioned topics. While this is encouraging, persistent efforts to increase the awareness levels is necessary. CAG will continue its work to this effect and will add value to the cause through its research and related initiatives.
Researchers and ECC Engineers from Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) attended a three-day training programme at Auroville Consulting (AVC) from 16 December 2019 to 18 December 2019. The programme focused on several topics ranging from TN Solar Policy 2019 and rooftop solar installation to e-mobility and smart grid systems. The sessions of the programme were designed and structured in such a way that each of them were supplemented with site visits and expert interactions.
Highlights of the training programme:
The sessions enabled a hands-on learning experience with site visits to Auroville’s rooftop solar installation, wastewater treatment plant and e-cycles initiative.
The programme provided ample scope to explore the various energy efficient and sustainable practices followed at Auroville.
The sessions were complimented with interactions, discussions and board games that enhanced the learning experience.
The sessions were delivered by experts who presented the topics based on their respective experience and aurovillian experiments.
Mr. Toine van Megen delivered the first session of the programme. He presented a detailed analysis of the Tamil Nadu Solar Policy 2019. Following which Mr. Shiv Vembadi presented on the implementation of KUSUM in Tamil Nadu. He explained that an integrated approach ie., combing energy-efficient pumps and advanced irrigation methods will conserve energy as well as water.
The afternoon session on rooftop solar installation was conducted by Mr. Debabrata Sahoo. He emphasised on the need for solar energy and shared Auroville experiences on stand-alone and grid-connected rooftop solar. He concluded the session with a site visit to the foundation office at Auroville, where 15 kW of rooftop panels have been installed. At the foundation office, he explained each system component of the rooftop solar and emphasised on the importance of site survey.
Image 1: Solar panels installed on the foundation office rooftop
Image 2: Battery store at foundation office
On Day 2 of the training programme, the first session on decentralised wastewater treatment was delivered by Mr. Tency Beatens. He shared his experiences in building wastewater treatment systems and explained the working of the Vortex system at Auroville Centre for Scientific Research (CSR). These systems are built below the ground level and treat wastewater in a closed environment. Further to eliminate the odour from the wastewater, the vortex system uses a swirling motion and continuous supply of oxygen.
Image 3: Vortex system at the Centre for Scientific Research
The day ended with a visit to Kinisi, Auroville. Kinisi is a unit of Auroville under the Center for Scientific Research Trust which brings electric mobility to all Auroville residents, volunteers and guests. Mr. Debabrata drew attention to the energy wastage resulting from use of different kinds of vehicles and highlighted that Kinisi was started to provide efficient solutions to reduce such energy wastage. Reflecting on the work and journey of Kinisi, the need to switch to electric mobility and its relevance in metro cities were discussed at length.
Image 4: E-cycles at Kinisi
Image 5: Photos displayed at Kinisi
On Day 3 of the training programme began with a visit to the Power Grid Corporation, Pondicherry. Mr. Raghunath, Control Centre Engineer presented a brief on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) which facilitates monitoring and measurement of consumer information through Smart Meters installed at customer premises. He highlighted that a pilot project was implemented in 2016 where smart meters were installed for 34,000 consumers which include single-phase, three-phase and HT meters. He demonstrated the working of smart meters, manufactured by Dongfang Electronics Co., Ltd, China and explained about the data acquisition and management systems in place. He concluded the session with the challenges faced by them while implementing the project.
Image 6: Discussion with Control Centre Engineer, Raghunath
The subsequent session was focused on the smart street lights installed at Auroville. Mr. Jaswanth, AVC explained about the working of the Smart Street Lights which have been designed to create an overarching digital control system that is based on the concept of Internet of Things, and cloud computing to deliver efficiency to existing street light grids. He highlighted that the street lights have been installed with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and dimmers. He added that after 11 PM, the lights automatically function at 40% of its brightness. He concluded with a demonstration of how the lights can be controlled and monitored on the web.
Image 7: Mr. Jaswanth explaining the working of smart street lights
The final session of the programme was on Green buildings. Mr. Victor Catrib introduced the green building concept and shared information around the steps to be followed while planning to construct a passive or green building. He explained the concept of the urban heat island effect and elaborated on various Heating Ventilation and Air cooling (HVAC) systems. He further threw light on energy efficient measures that can make a net-zero energy building. He concluded the session with a deep dive into several case studies on green buildings, from around the world.
Image 8: Mr. Victor Catrib presenting on Green Buildings
The three-day training programme came to a close with a board game designed and developed by AVC. The multi-stakeholder board game enabled the players to approach electricity consumption with long-term strategies to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Overall, the three-day training programme was an interesting learning experience. The sessions were focused on the theoretical, technical, practical and policy aspects of solar energy, passive buildings, electric mobility, and smart grid systems. Each of these sessions were further supplemented with site visits and interactions with proficient personnel working in the respective space. The most interesting aspect of the sessions was that they were based on Aurovillian experiments and experience around the highlighted themes. To have instructors who have walked the talk and speak out of experience was both insightful and inspiring. Above all, it was most beneficial since the environment promoted hands-on learning and encouraged inquisitiveness.
1. Tamil Nadu announced its new Solar Policy in February 2019 which sets an ambitious target of achieving an installed solar generation capacity of 9,000 MW by 2023.
2. Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan (KUSUM scheme): Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.
3. A net-zero energy building is a building with zero net energy consumption, i.e. total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site
This booklet provides information about various aspects of delivery of quality electricity services like the responsibility of the utility, compensation for failure of not doing the work and also the proceduce to approach Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF).
This booklet provides the sample of various EB forms regarding the delivery of electricity services
This booklet educates consumers about the procedure for new service connection and related charges.