Most States are giving short shrift to building energy conservation norms with just a dozen adopting them so far, a little over a decade after its release.

The first Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was released in May 2007 and only 12 States/Union Territories have notified it till date. A decade later, this code was updated in June 2017 to ECBC 2017 and now those States that have adopted the earlier version are revising their notifications to comply with the new norms.

Compliant States

Till May 2017, ECBC norms were notified by nine States — Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Haryana, West Bengal, and Karnataka — and the Union Territory of Puducherry, .

Assam and Kerala will be two additions to the list anytime now.

“States were initially reluctant to adopt the ECBC as it would require another level of compliance to be adhered to while giving approvals for constructing commercial buildings. This is being addressed and soon a software to assess compliance will be offered to the State governments to automate and speed up the process,” a government official aware of the move told BusinessLine .

Draft amendment

“The draft ECBC amendment to accommodate the States’ requirements is in advanced stages in 21 States/Union Territories,” he added.

The new code prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India. Under the code, provisions for inclusion of renewable energy, stringent requirements for air-conditioning systems, and a wider scope in comfort systems and controls among others were introduced.

A delay in the adoption of ECBC 2017 threatens to scuttle the aim of achieving 50 per cent reduction in energy use by 2030.

Multiple stakeholders

The Power Ministry had said that a successful adoption of ECBC 2017 will translate to energy savings of around 300 billion units by 2030 and a peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year.

This would be equivalent to savings of ₹35,000 crore and CO2 reduction of 250 million tonnes. “The ECBC was formulated under the Ministry of Power. Its implementation, however, lies with State governments’ Urban Development Department (municipal corporations and urban local bodies) with support from Designated State Agencies,” Satish Kumar, President and Executive Director of the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy, said.

“The code adoption, implementation and enforcement involve multiple stakeholders. The role of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, along with its State and local counterparts, is most crucial,” Kumar added.

“For the ECBC to be successfully carried out in India, it is essential to integrate the efforts of local bodies with those of the Central and State governments. There is also a need to enhance the delegation of responsibility of authorities for proper implementation and execution of ECBC,” said Jaxay Shah, national president of Credai.