Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Energy Efficient Pumps can help residential complexes save on electricity bills

By on April 22, 2016

India is a rapidly urbanizing country. It is expected to be 40% urbanized by 2030. With increasing urbanization, number of high-rise residential complexes is increasing. In many urban centers, local municipal corporations provide water through their pipeline network and pumps are used to push the water stored in overhead tanks. With increasing heights of the residential complexes, the electricity requirement for pumping is increasing by every day. All this is pushing the already shoestring budgets of residential complexes higher. All this makes for a very good case for residential societies to think about energy efficient pumps that can save them some money on their electricity bills.

How much does pumping contribute to electricity bills in a society?

We at Bijli Bachao did some audits and calculations at our own complex to find out how much does pumping contribute to common expenses in our residential complex. And we found out that about 50% of the electricity bill was for the pumping requirements in the complex. Most buildings have only 3 major heads for electricity consumption: lights, elevators and pumps out of which lights are the smallest component and pumps consuming the highest. Thus a residential society trying to reduce their electricity bills should first target pumps to save their electricity bills.

Efficiency in Pumps

Efficiency of any appliance is defined to rate its capability of converting electricity into some form of energy. Every pump is designed to handle certain load at which it has the most optimum efficiency (called as BEP or Best Efficiency Point). Most efficient (small) pumps have efficiencies of 50-70% (if operated at BEP). If a pump is oversized it will not give the most optimum efficiency even if the most efficient pump is used. If the pumps are not designed properly and also not maintained properly, their efficiency can go down up to 10-20%. This means it will use much more electricity to pump the same amount of water to a certain height than it should.

Projects where energy efficient pumps have successfully helped societies

IIEC‘s(International Institute of Energy Conservation) Mumbai Energy Alliance did a project with 12 residential societies in Mumbai to test effectiveness of energy efficient pumps and following results were observed for 3 societies:

  1. Society 1 (Krishna – Godavari):  The pump system efficiency was improved from 30% to 45% with an investment of Rs 50,000. The annual electricity savings were 1619 units (or kWH) with a payback of about 5 years.
  2. Society 2 (Aditya-Anirudh): The pump system efficiency was improved from 14% to 52% with an investment of Rs 20,000. The annual electricity saving were 1528 units (or kWH) with a payback of 2 years.
  3. Society 3 (Shiv Ganga): The pump system efficiency was improved from 22% to 37% with an investment of Rs 30,000. The annual electricity saving were 1277 units (or kWH) with a pay back of 3 years.

Please note that the sample above is outcome of an experiment. Every society will have a different requirement as the efficiency of the existing pump may vary; also the size of pump required may vary (as each building is of different height).

What should residential societies do when electricity bills are high?

Most residential societies only look at options for efficient lighting when their electricity bills are high. Doing efficient lighting is great at it does help reduce some amount in the electricity bills, but if pumping efficiency project is taken along with it, the whole project can show a big impact. In case the electricity bills of your society are high, try following:

  1. Get a simple audit done where you can identify electricity consumption by component: lights, lifts and pumps. Note that single-phase meters are available in the market that can be used with a single pump to identify its unit consumption while in operation.
  2. If it is identified that pumps are consuming a lot of electricity, hire a certified engineer who can help identify existing efficiencies of the pump and also suggest the right size for the pump based on load requirement.
  3. Always buy a BEE certified energy efficient pump (as you can get 55-60% efficiency).
  4. Try using a Variable Speed Drive pump which adjusts it’s consumption based on the load on it.
  5. Make sure that the pumps are maintained regularly so that they operate at right efficiency.

Principal Agent Problem

Builders build most residential complexes and the actual residents do not care much about the appliances installed in the complex when they purchase their house. As efficient pumps are expensive, many builders do not have financial motive to install efficient pumps. This results in higher electricity costs for the residential complexes when they are transferred to the owners. The common expenses such as electricity bill is divided amongst each house and thus every owner bears the cost of extra electricity that is used for pumping. Thus it is very important that buyers become aware of this fact and demand for more energy efficient products from the builders. Unless that is done, the cost of retrofitting efficient appliances will always be much more and delay in replacing will cost higher electricity bills

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  • b p bhat

    Nice one BB Team. However my experience is slightly different.

    1. The modern day LED (or even CFL) bulbs consume very less power. I own a couple of buildings. Earlier I had installed 9W CFL bulbs for the common areas, staircase etc. Now I have replaced the same with PM Modi’s 8W LED bulb. They consume very less power and give more light.

    2. Next in line is the water motor. I have 3 nos 1 HP high head CRI open well submersible pumps. On an average they run at least 1.5 hr per day (combined running). Lots of things play important role in the power consumption. Like quality of motor, size & type of delivery pipe line, height of the overhead tank, number of bends & elbows used in the pipe line etc.

    3. The most power consuming item is the Lift or the Elevator.

    I need your help in this.

    Recently I have installed a residential lift with a 1 HP motor capacity. It has got only 2 stops, one in the Ground floor and the other one in 4th floor. It is ON all the time (24 hours). We use it only 2 – 3 times a day. But it consumes almost 4 -5 units per day. How can I do a Bijli Bachao in this ? Your suggestions will be of great help to me.

    Thanks in advance

    • https://www.bijlibachao.com Abhishek Jain

      Hello Mr Bhat,

      4-5 units per day is quite a lot if you use it only 2-3 times a day. A lift would consume major electricity only when it is in operating because the motor is being used. And from 1st floor to 4th floor it will take hardly 1-2 mins. So all in all the motor is being used only for 6-10 mins max. A 740 Watt (1 HP) motor in 10 mins would not consume more than 0.12 units. Even if there is added electronics that is taking max 5-10 watts it would not add more than 0.24 units in a day. Add a 25 watts CFL for 24 hours, that is another 0.6 units. I hope you do not have a fan in it which is running for 24 hours, because if it is so, then that would be the biggest culprit for power consumption.

    • b p bhat

      Thanks AJ. I was busy with my building work and hence could not acknowledge your reply.

      I am in the process of analysing the power consumption of LIFT, UPS and other apparatus. Once I finish, I will come back to you.

    • https://www.bijlibachao.com Abhishek Jain

      Great. Thanks. Do let me know your test results.

  • PM

    We have a 0.75 HP water pump in use from last 10 yrs. Its a locally manufactured brand (Lada Laxmi) which is not working as expected now. I want to replace it with an energy efficient water pump. Water needs to be pumped from a water tank 10 ft deep, to an overhead tank at 35-40 ft high (3 floors high). Pump will be placed on top of tank. Please suggest 2-3 options available in Pune. Also let me know about there service center in Pune.

  • M K Jain

    For ground +7 floor building with 2 wings(25 years old), which pump will most energy efficient to replace current old pump consuming around 24-26KWH/Day (avg 4.5 Hr used for 2 wings for 1 Submersible Pump). The consumption was initially around 16 kwh/day 2.5 years back, which has gone to 26 kwh/day now. Tank size for building is 12.5 KL and ground tank size is 40KL. Pipe size is 2″, which has around 15 band in pipeline from tank to overhead tank and near overhead tank, there is continuous bending of extra 10 ft, which can be reduced from current design. Please suggest as to how to arrive at appropriate pump size and what is effect to 15 band, which can be brought down to 3-4 and length of pipe can be reduced by 10 ft.

    Thanking you in advance

  • Surendra

    BEE star rated pumping sets specifies overall efficiency > 1.0 for all star ratings. If I assume efficiency of pump = 0.60 and efficiency of induction motor = 0.80 then overall efficiency = 0.60 x 0.80 = .048 or 48%. How it is possible to have >1.0 . I am unable to understand. Please clarify by an example.



  • Shravan

    We are a residential apartment complex in Bangalore. we have 6 buildings and only 2 overhead tanks in 2 buildings for all the 6 building.
    The height of the tanks is about 25,entries from the ground level
    The 6 buildings are located in L shape.
    The underground sump is located at one end of the complex so the pipeline from the sump to the overhead tanks runs about 150 metres horizontally before it goes upwards

    At present we are having 2 submersible pumps for the 2 tanks which run for about 12 hours everyday on auto mode with water level sensor system
    The present pumps are 10hp & 7.5 HP generic pumps

    My query is that should we go for a higher capacity pump which runs for a shorter period or a lower capacity pump which runs for a longer period to save electricity costs.
    Also how to calculate the BEP of the pump and which pump is ideal for us

    Thanks for advising

  • Mahaveer Jain

    For 7 floor building with 4 wings having 28 flat in each building, which pump will most energy efficient to replace current old pump consuming around 10 amps (avg 4.5 Hr used for 2 wings with 2 Submersible Pump). The consumption was initially around 17 units a day 2 years back, which has gone to 23 units a day now. We intend to replace two pump for two building with 1 pump for 2 buildings water supply. Tank size for building is 12.5KL and ground tank size is 80KL. Please advise how can be energy be saved and cost can be reduced.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hello Mr Jain,

      Assuming that each floor in your building is about 12 ft, the total height is 12×7 = 84 ft or about 25 mts. So you need a pump head of about 25 mts – 30 mts. Your current pumps are about 10 x 240 x 0.8 = ~ 2-2.2 kW …. below is the list of submersible pumps from BEE’s list which are energy efficient, have pump head of about 25-30 mts and about 2-2.2 kW. However looking at their discharge rate of about 5 lps, it should fill a 12.5 kL tank in about 45 mins.

      Brand Name Model Number Head (meters) Discharge (lps) No of Stages Pump set Rating (kW) Overall efficiency(%)
      SABAR BJM100\3 26 4.8 3 2.2 48
      PLUGA SPRR/30/3 26 5 3 2.2 47.5
      PLUGA SPR/17/4 30 2.66 4 2.2 46.7
      PLUGA SPRR/17/4 29 2.83 4 2.2 46.7
      KSB UQDs 212 / 03 + UMA I 150 – 2 / 22 27 5 3 2.2 46.53
      VARUNA VSH:65N/3 28 5 3 2.2 46
      AMBICA 5API-100/3 28 4.5 3 2.2 46
      RINOLEX 5API-100/3 28 4.5 3 2.2 46
      U-NEEL 5K-100/3 29 4.5 3 2.2 45.5
      SHAKTIMAN CH6/25R/4 30 4.17 4 2.2 45.25
      CHETAK ASE100/3 27 4.5 3 2.2 45.25
      SWASTIK SW80/45 30 4.2 4 2.2 45.1
      SANGAM SP66A/4 30 4 4 2.2 45.1
      MAHENDRA ER 80/4 28 4 4 2.2 45.05
      NAIGRA N6R-100ES/3 27 4.5 3 2.2 45.03
      NESA NR6-100/3 27 4 3 2.2 45
      GRUNDFOS SP17-4 27 4.72 4 2.2 45
      KSB UQD 182 / 03 + UMA I 150 – 2 / 22 28.5 3.33 3 2.2 44.8
      KSB UQDs 182 / 03 + UMAI 150 – 2 / 22 28.5 3.33 3 2.2 44.8
      WATERMAN AR5/3/3.0 27 4 3 2.2 44.3
      CROMPTON GREAVES 6W3J3 27 4 3 2.2 44.3
      V-GUARD VBTC 0303 27 4 3 2.2 44.2
      SHRIVA SK-60/4 30 3.33 4 2.2 43.5
      KIRLOSKAR KS6C’-0303 27.6 3.8 3 2.2 43.5
  • binu

    Hai this is binu from Kerala. I need a water pump for my single storied house with 20-25 ft deep normal well.water tank placed at the terrace .yesterday s heavy rains make my well almost full that is my pump position under water now.I think a submersible one is better for me…please give some good choices ASAP.. Because old one is not functioning now…

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Binu,

      Sorry, we have not assessed the data for pumps yet. BEE does rate pumps, but frankly we are still trying to analyze brands and their brand value and till that time, we will not be able to make any recommendations.

    • binu

      k thanks..

  • Praveen

    Can you please suggest some energy efficient 0.5hp water pumps with good discharge rate for domestc use? Is there any BEE star rated pumps in 0.5hp category?

  • Janardhan Cherukuri

    Please suggest a motor pump. Our requirement is to pump 110ft hieght from water sump filled up by a water tank. There are about 16 flats in the complex with 3 phase power supply

  • Deyasini

    Hi, our building is 11storey high and are using 7.5hp pump for supply to OHT from UGT. Wanted to know if the same can be replaced with energy efficient pump and which company can supply the same.

    • Abhishek Jain


      I guess you have a submersible pump in your building. BEE does star rating for pumps and a few companies that rate higher in BEE ratings for pumps are from Gujarat. Here are some of the links:


      It will be important to understand efficiency level of the current pump and compare it with efficiency of the replacement pumps to understand the benefit.

  • Saurabh


    First of all i would like to thank you for such an innovative blog it was your valuable suggestion that lead me to superfan when i was searching for an energy efficient

    and good fan and i booked it instantly after some of my own research.I would to have one more of your valuable suggestion since i am planning to purchase an

    energy efficient water pump which is supposed to fetch water from pipeline as govt water hardly comes on its own and also i live on the first floor.Currently i use if i

    am correct bottley boy .75 hp pump which was really good as other pumps failed to fetch water but it got damaged due to some electric fault and its valves also

    wear out but its still somehow functional after repairing and but only 25% efficient now as compared to earlier.so please suggest me a new energy efficient pump

    i am willing to spend a good amount on it but the pump should be as good as superfan you told us. I am a fan of this good fan.


    Saurabh Chhonker

  • Dhiraj Chaudhary

    thanks abhishek. i will go for either CG highspeed plus or USHA technix as suggested by you.
    Only doubt out of this 2 which will have high speed becuse in chennai climate will be very hot.

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hi Dhiraj,

      CG highspeed plus has better air delivery. However if you are very concerned about Air Delivery then I would suggest that you go for Superfan.

    • Dhiraj Chaudhary

      thanks a lot.i asked you about one motor . i want a 1 HP Motor for my new apartments, which motor i should buy? Besten or Crompton….Suggest me the one with automatic switch off when water is full.

  • Dhiraj Chaudhary

    Hi Abhishek,
    I want to buy a motor for water purpose in my new house. I want to know the best motor with energy efficiency under Rs. 10,000.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Dhiraj Chaudhary

  • Dhiraj Chaudhary

    Hi abhishek i want ot buy fan upto 2000 but it should be energy efficient. i have seen superfan but it is costlier(3500-3700) .also in your website i came to know about Havell ES 50. i want to know which fan wil be the best in terms of energy efficiency and life under Rs 2000.
    Also it will be great if you tell me about SYSKA LED lights for my rooms and bathrooms.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Dhiraj Chaudhary.

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hi Dhiraj,

      For fans you can look at:

      Havells Fusion 50
      Orient SUMMER CROWN
      Orient ENERGY STAR

      As far as lights are concerned, I would suggest going for LED tubelights. For a room where you used to put one 40W T8 tubelight, two 10W LED tube lights should do good. It will also give you flexibility to put on only one when you need lesser light and two when you need more of reading. You can look at LED Slim tubelight on this link: http://syskaledlights.com/GetProducts.aspx?category=Tube-Light … for the bathrooms if you are comfortable with white light then I would suggest to go for one 5W tubelight. Or else you can go for 7 or 8 W LED lamps on this link: http://syskaledlights.com/GetProducts.aspx?category=LED-Lamps

  • binu

    hi friend ,,please make a ranking of energy efficient pumps available till date…

  • Mahendar

    I request to create a page in Linkedin too. It will directly reach to professionals

    • Abhishek Jain

      Sure. Will do that soon.


  • mannan

    very helpful. i live in a society whose bill has gone up from 25k to 40k in 3 months time and i fail to understand how has this increased? society supplies water to all flats through borewell hence pumps run all the time. now as you have said society needs to get it checked by a certified engineer. how to find those engineers? we are located in Kondwa Khurd, Pune. Mr Mannan Tel 9860345969

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hello Mr Mannan,

      Actually tariffs have increased in last 3 months and may be that is the reason why you are feeling the increase. But yes, pumping is a major electricity consumer in most residential housing societies. Currently we do not have the information on engineers, but we will try to find the same and would let you know. Thanks for reading Bijli Bachao and I am glad that it was helpful to you.


  • kk

    great post!

    • Abhishek Jain

      Thanks :).