ECBC Audits are playing a great role in transforming the economy.
India has seen a steady growth in the construction industry over the past two decades. While this industry is one of the driving forces behind our economic growth, there is something that is involved in this. The construction industry accounts for about 37% of India's electricity consumption, which translates to about 334 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2007 with the aim of promoting energy efficiency in commercial buildings, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency introduced the Energy Conservation Building Code popularly known as ECBC and developed consideration for India's different climatic zones. This code has now been revised and is called ECBC 2017. It focuses on passive design strategies, energy efficient active strategies and integration of renewable energy in the buildings. For the building to be in line with ECBC, it will need to show a minimum energy efficiency of 25%. Additional improvements enable new buildings to achieve higher marks such as ECBC plus or super ECBC resulting in energy savings of 35% and 50% respectively.
Apart from energy efficiency there have been many challenges in implementing this code and there has been a great need for intervention. In 2009 the BEE and the United Nations Development Program, funded by a global environmental facility, launched a comprehensive intervention program called the development of energy efficiency in commercial buildings while the central government through BEE set code guidelines. It was the responsibility of the state government to amend and notify the code in the state gazette and the enforcement of the code rests with the urban local bodies. A key intervention of the project in this regard was the establishment of the ECBC cells in the states and union territories. These cells are actually a team of developers and engineers who work closely with public sector stakeholders to assist in government codification process, building code review, PWD pricing system, demonstration project development and capacity building. . As of October 2017 the project has established ECBC cells in 24 states and 6 union territories. In addition the project has established an industry of ECBC experts from across the country through training program. These professionals would in turn become master trainers for facilitating future training and capacity building with the respective states.
As of October 2017, there are 122 Senior Coaches in the country. Under the supervision and guidance of the project team approximately 160 buildings showing compliance with this code are in various stages of design and construction covering a completely low-lying area of 7.5 million square meters. The completed projects are expected to result in energy savings of 522 million units per annum and in the next 25 years these are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. The owners of these buildings have to bear an additional cost to carry out proposed constructional changes. This applies to about 2% -4% of project costs. However the significant savings and electricity cost ensures that the average payback period is less than 4 years.
Indian building stock is expected to grow to over 1900 million square meters by 2030. About 50% of this stock will still be built with the adoption of energy efficiency measures in these structures that will ensure that about 50% reduction in energy use by 2030 is not out of reach.