The Indian Railways, the world's third largest railroad network, on Friday received 11 National Energy Conservation Awards, the highest ever by any Indian industry, for the remarkable achievements by its Zonal Railways in Energy Conservation initiatives taken in 2012.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the awards to the Indian Railways at a function, which commemorates National Energy Conservation Day held every year on Dec 14. Chairman of Railway Board Vinay Mittal, Member Electrical Kul Bhushanand other Railway officials were present at the occasion.

In order to intensify the energy conservation initiatives, the Ministry of Power has instituted "National Energy Conservation Award" which is given on the occasion every year. These awards are given to 11 major category (like Railways, hospitals, office buildings, industry, power plant etc.) covering 35 different subsectors of large and medium scale industries mainly on the basis of improvement in specific energy and energy conservation initiatives.  

The awards are decided by the Award Evaluation Committee under Bureau of Energy Efficiency based on approved evaluation criteria.  The Electrical Energy Management Department, Railway Board is a permanent member of Award Evaluation Committee.

A Total of 87 awardees out of 773 applications were selected for the National Energy Conservation Awards 2012.  

To proliferate energy conservation measures on Indian Railways, for reducing the energy intensity and electricity consumption, the Electrical Energy Management Directorate of the Railway Board has enunciated a number of policies for implementation by Zonal Railways. 

 In order to focus attention in this direction the year 2011-12 was also declared as "The Year of Green Energy" by Indian Railways and dedicated efforts were made for creating awareness for green energy initiatives, tapping non-conventional energy resources, energy conservation measures etc.  These efforts have resulted into a reduction of 1.03 per cent of electricity consumption for non traction application (2458.34 Million unit during 2011-12 as compared to 2483.96 Million units during 2010-11) despite about five per cent increase in connected load.