India’s Energy Conservation Building Code, 2017


08:41 AM

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is International Energy Agency (IEA)?
  • What is Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017?
  • Where do states stand in ECBC implementation?
  • Way forward in India

Why in news?

  • Recently, Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) talked about India's Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017 in its World Energy Outlook 2023 report.
  • The IEA pointed out that India is unique among developing countries because its rules for energy efficiency in commercial buildings are strong.
  • In many other developing countries, energy efficiency in buildings is not as advanced.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • About
    • The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous intergovernmental organization based in Paris.
    • It was established in 1974 by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973.
  • Mission
    • The IEA's mission is to help countries provide secure and sustainable energy for all.
    • It provides policy recommendations, analysis, and data on the global energy sector.
    • The IEA also works with governments and industry to shape a secure and sustainable energy future.
  • Reports Published
    • World Energy Outlook
    • Oil Market Report
    • World Energy Employment Report

Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017

  • About
    • The ECBC was first released by the Ministry of Power’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in 2007, followed by an update in 2017.
    • Currently, 23 states have notified rules to enforce ECBC compliance, while large states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are still in the process of drafting rules.
    • While ECBC acts as a national standard, states across India have the flexibility to modify the code depending on unique regional needs.
    • To enforce the code, states have to draft rules and notify them as state laws.
  • Objectives
    • ECBC sets minimum energy standards for commercial buildings, with the objective of enabling energy savings of between 25 and 50 per cent in compliant buildings.
  • Applicability
    • The code is applicable to commercial buildings like hospitals, hotels, schools, shopping complexes, and multiplexes which have a connected load of 100 kW or more, or contract demand of 120 kVA or more.
    • ECBC is for both new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings.
  • Tag assigned
    • Compliant buildings are assigned one of three tags in ascending order of efficiency, namely ECBC, ECBC Plus, and Super ECBC.
  • ECBC 2017
    • Compared to ECBC, 2007, the updated 2017 code has additional priorities of renewable energy integration, ease of compliance, inclusion of passive building design strategies, and flexibility for the designers.
  • Need
    • ECBC is important as buildings in India account for 30 per cent of total electricity consumption, a figure that is expected to touch 50 per cent by 2042.
    • As per one report, 40% of buildings that will exist in the next twenty years are yet to be built.
    • This gives policymakers and builders a unique opportunity to ensure that they are built in a sustainable manner.

Where do states stand in ECBC implementation?

  • Implementation by states
    • Although 23 out of 28 states have notified ECBC rules, only 15 states have notified rules based on the latest ECBC, 2017.
    • These include states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Kerala.
    • Five states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, J&K, Ladakh, and Manipur — are yet to notify ECBC rules.
  • State Energy Efficiency Index
    • BEE published the State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) in 2022, which rated states on various parameters of energy efficiency.
    • As per the index, Karnataka was the top state in SEEI’s ratings for energy efficiency in buildings.
      • It was followed by Telangana, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab as the top five large states with the best scores.
    • Bihar was given the lowest score of 0.5 points.

Way forward in India

  • Recognition by IEA
    • The IEA recognises India is among the few developing countries that have building codes for commercial and residential buildings.
    • It further says that the uniform enforcement of it can lead to significant energy savings in the sector.
  • Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act in 2022
    • India also passed the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act in 2022, which further expands the ambit of building codes in the country.
    • The act provides for the transitioning of ECBC into Energy Conservation and Sustainability Building Code.
    • This will be done by incorporating measures relating to embedded carbon, net zero emissions, materials and resource efficiency, deployment of clean energy, and circularity.
    • The act also makes ECO Niwas Samhita, the residential building energy code, mandatory.
      • This is crucial as residential buildings use 75 per cent of total electricity consumed in the building sector.
    • In the coming months, the government is expected to update ECO Niwas Samhita, following which states will notify rules based on the code.

Q1) What is Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)?

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power of the Government of India. It was established in March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. The BEE's function is to encourage the efficient use of energy in India by developing programs to support it.

Q2) What is ECO Niwas Samhita? 

Eco Niwas Samhita (ENS) is a Residential Energy Conservation Building code developed by BEE. The code sets standards to limit heat gain and loss and ensure adequate natural ventilation and daylighting potential. The Ministry of Power launched the Energy Conservation- New Indian Way for Affordable & Sustainable Homes (ECO Niwas) in 2018.

Source: India’s Energy Conservation Building Code, 2017: Why the IEA called it a ‘notable exception’ among developing countries | IEA