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Govt Launches Code To Set Energy Performance Standards For Commercial Buildings

The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

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Government has introduced the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017), on Monday (19 June), which is meant to prescribe the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India. 

The Code has been launched by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines.

The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. ECBC 2017 sets parameters for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies.

Goyal said, “ECBC 2017 is a leap forward towards strengthening India’s capabilities to combat climate change in a sustainable manner. I have recommended that all new buildings and offices in the future be SuperECBC and Net Zero Energy Buildings.”

Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Power, stated that ECBC 2017 will give clear direction and have criteria for new buildings to be Super ECBC. “The new code reflects current and futuristic advancements in building technology, market changes, and energy demand scenario of the country, setting the benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally.”

“The launch of ECBC 2017 is a culmination of years of collaborative efforts by various building experts, industry associations, and research institutions across the country. Energy Conservation Building Codes have been globally proven to be one of the most cost-effective policy measure to save energy and cost and enhance occupant comfort. I urge all stakeholders to help steer the country towards the vision of near-zero energy usage through ECBC adoption,” said Abhay Bakre, Director General, BEE.

In order for a building to be considered ECBC-compliant, it would need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25 per cent. Additional improvements in energy efficiency performance would enable the new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status leading to further energy savings of 35 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.

With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in energy use by 2030. This will translate to energy savings of about 300 billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year. This will be equivalent to expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.

ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development under the US-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance Program.