EESL to partner Delhi's govt hospitals for improving quality of air

New Delhi: A metro train runs on a track amid hazy weather conditions, in New Delhi, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)
Circulation of infected air owing to air-conditioned premises has been among the key concerns of health administrators during the pandemic.  

Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) is looking to address this issue through tie-ups with operators of public spaces like hospitals, malls, airports and offices. For starters, it is in discussions with the Centre to start projects in some the government-run hospitals in Delhi. 

This is part of its Retrofit of Air-conditioning to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency (RAISE) programme, a pilot that was launched in its own building earlier this year. 

According to Rajat Sud, managing director of EESL, the programme is part of its four-point agenda for saving energy, sustainability, securing energy and efficiency. The process requires induction of fresh air into centralised systems by upgrading through retrofitting or replacing existing AC plants.

According to Sud, EESL was developing a protocol for a wide range of pathogens along with All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “There are associated risks for health workers from viruses which is not just Corona but those also relating to tuberculosis, pneumonia, etc. So we are creating protocols for various scenarios including those for OPD (outdoor patient department), operation theatres,” he said in an interview to Business Standard.  

Sud said EESL’s investment in all its programmes were through highest quality carbon finance, whose value does not come from internal rate of return but from the value it creates for sustainability by making the whole supply chain accountable.

Though EESL had earlier planned to make ACs more energy efficient, it is now looking to integrate this with use of ultra violet and electrostatic filters.

For the firm, this presents an opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures integrated with those for enhancing air quality. According to EESL, an integrated approach will ensure that the air-conditioning stems contributes towards an improved air quality at lowered energy consumption. 

At present, there is no standardised approach to retrofitting for Covid-19 response. The EESL corporate office in Delhi’s Scope Complex was taken up as a pilot to test the integrated approach. 

Based on the experience of the initial pilots, the company has developed retrofit specifications, for nation-wide scale-up of the programmes.

The firm claims the pilots established the effectiveness and cost benefits of measures taken up — including their short- and long-term impact on air quality comfort and energy use.

Sud said the programme was at an early stage but the reason to go with hospitals was because they were most vulnerable. EESL will utilise funds from the Asian Development Bank for the purpose.

The company got $200 million (Rs 1,400 crore) debt from ADB for its street lighting programme. The programme was concluded with less fund requirement so the residual Rs 300 crore is being utilised for RAISE.
According to Sud, the model is Pay as You Use, which means users of their services will save from energy efficiency which will help them pay to EESL. 

Installation of devices for improving air quality, however, could mean more investment. “Our intervention creates efficiency and air quality improvement. We do not see huge reduction in efficiency,” he said.

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