India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a 250 million dollar (about Rs 1,775 crore) loan to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers.
In addition, 46 million dollar (about Rs 326 crore) financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund to be administered by ADB.
ADB previously approved a 200 million dollar (about Rs 1,420 crore) loan to EESL, a public sector energy service company, in 2016 for Demand Side Energy Efficiency Sector Project that focused on efficient lighting and appliances.
The signatories to the loan agreement were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission.
Khare said the project is expected to contribute to the government's mission to promote energy efficiency and meet commitments to reduce energy intensity of the economy.
Introduction of energy-efficient technologies in eligible states including smart metres, distributed solar photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles will help reduce electricity network losses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Yokoyama said that this is one of the few ADB projects specially focused on demand-side energy efficiency targeting upstream efficiency opportunities and business models that can be scaled up in India and other ADB developing member countries. The project's smart metering component will help address billing and collection inefficiencies.
EESL will also explore business models to generate greater public demand for e-vehicles to support India's current push for electric vehicles.
Promoting awareness of the benefits of using energy efficient technologies is another feature of the project. Awareness campaigns will engage local organisations in knowledge-sharing and training, with a focus on women electricity consumers.
Capacity building for electricity distribution, regulatory agencies, and other government bodies will also be carried out, according to an official statement.
Accompanying the loan will be a technical assistance of two million dollars to support EESL in implementing the project, including a gender action plan, mobilising private sector participation in energy efficiency services, identifying new business opportunities, and transferring knowledge about successful models.
The assistance will also support the identification and development of new sub-projects and pilot test some technologies. The grant comes from the Clean Technology Fund to be administered by ADB.