The first major step towards ECBC implementation is its amendment and notification in the State Gazette. Although ten years have passed since the introduction of ECBC by BEE, only ten States/UT have notified so far. States need to fast track the ECBC notification at the earliest.
One clear message that emerged from the intense deliberations during the workshop was the need for clarity on the roles and responsibilities of key government stakeholders including various state and city level divisions of the Urban Development Department (UDD) and the State Designated Agency (SDA) of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
A major roadblock towards ECBC implementation- Notification of ECBC in state’s official gazette could be overcome by senior bureaucrats in the state assuming leadership role was re-emphasised in the workshop. It is suggested to form two committees, 1. Apex Committee Chaired by Chief Secretary and 2. Steering Committee Chaired by Principal Secretary – Energy or Urban Development. These two committees can provide necessary direction and thrash out issues for effective roll out and implementation of ECBC.
Learning from the Telangana experience, different training modules for different stakeholders such as senior bureaucrats, government officials representing different departments of Urban Development and Energy, practicing architects and engineers can be developed. For creating further awareness about ECBC, the need to include ECBC in the curriculum of architectural and engineering courses can be explored. Few States have run comprehensive training programs on ECBC. States need to roll out an extensive training program.
The State Designated Agencies (SDAs) are the strategic partners for promotion of energy efficiency in the State. But they have limited focus on energy efficiency, as they have limited resources and are often loaded with other responsibilities. It is vital to strengthen the SDAs with necessary resources to perform their roles as envisaged under The EC Act, 2001.
For large scale implementation of ECBC in states, it is suggested to explore different models such as third-party assessors, in-house capacity building among others. For larger States, it would be ideal to establish permanent ECBC cells with representation from SDA and UDD (Public Works Dept. / Town & Country Planning / Development Authorities, etc).
Online tools for drawings and document submission, compliance checks and subsequent approvals without human interference for effective and time bound ECBC compliance generated a lot of interest among states’ representatives. Telangana has initiated this and was showcased during the workshop. It is worthwhile to have a study of this system for suitable adoption for your State. This will make the process of building in energy efficiency hassle free.
As on date ECBC only addresses commercial buildings (except group housing projects), Considering the continuously growing energy demands of the domestic sector, you may consider exploring the inclusion of residential sector at the earliest, to reap higher energy efficiency benefits in the buildings sector as a whole.
As ECBC focuses on new buildings, it is equally important to exploit the energy saving potential in existing building stock. Energy savings in the range of 20-25 per cent with additional cost savings towards equipment maintenance is easily achievable in existing buildings. In NITI Aayog building, we recently carried out energy efficiency retrofits from EESL through ESCO route and were able to achieve energy savings in the range of 35-40%. Few landmark buildings such as Secretariat, High Courts, Hospitals, and others can be taken up to initiate energy efficiency retrofit on trail basis through ESCO and based on the learning’s, the exercise can be expanded on a larger scale.
For continuous improvement, monitoring of performance is essential. Mandating disclosure of energy use (Energy Performance Index) for all public and private commercial buildings with a connected load of 100 kW or more will go a long way in ensuring better energy management.
Learning from the international experiences, Building Energy Passport or Energy Management Information System could supplement ECBC in the near future for realisation of EE in actual energy performance of buildings, since ECBC is primarily a design code and does not emphasise much on the actual energy performance of building once operational.
UNDP-GEF expressed commitment to continue their support towards mainstreaming ECBC implementation in states by creating more ECBC cells (starting with Himachal Pradesh and Delhi in the Northern region), enhancement of curriculum and development of educational materials about ECBC and development of online tools among various other ongoing programs.