Fifth Regional Workshop on Energy Conservation Building Code Implementation in States – Hyderabad on 27-28 April 2017

NITI Aayog with support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Global Environment Facility (GEF), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) organized the fifth and final in the series of Regional Workshops on “Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) Implementation in States”, on 27-28 April 2017 at Infosys Pocharam Campus in Hyderabad.

Representatives from the States and UTs of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Goa, Puducherry participated in the workshop. Representatives from the NITI Aayog, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, UNDP, AEEE, GIZ, EESL, Building Experts and Associations were also present.

The Day one of the workshop started with a site visit of the Infosys campus. The site visit focused on six major areas – Building Design, Chiller Plant, Biogas Plant, Water Management, Solar Plant and Building Interiors. The Infosys team led by Mr. Guruprakash Sastry, Regional Head Infrastructure took the participants around the campus and explained the various features they have adopted to build a sustainable campus. He explained in detail the importance of adopting efficiency at the design stage itself where the maximum potential exist. The concepts of building orientation, window wall ratio, shading, insulation, right sizing of equipments, importance of metering and continuous monitoring were explained. The team also visited the biogas plant where the food waste from the campus is digested to produce biogas which is then utilized for cooking in the canteen. The 6.6 MW solar plant had mix of both thin film and poly crystalline PV cell based systems with both the single-axis tracking and non tracking systems. The combination has helped in maximizing their electricity generation and also in analysing the performance of different PV cell based systems under different working conditions. Subsequent to site visit, Infosys made a presentation highlighting path followed, challenges encountered and lessons learnt in implementing energy efficiency initiatives in their campus. This was followed by Q&A session, wherein the questions raised by the participants were clarified by Infosys team.

The day two started with Welcome Remarks by Mr. Dass Gunalan, Infosys, where he raised an issue of lack of data on building energy efficiency in India. Infosys with more than 45 million sq. ft of building space has robust monitoring systems in place which tracks the campus under different climatic conditions in India. Hence, the data can serve as a resource for conducting various building efficiency research studies. This was followed by a Special Address by Mr. Ajay Mishra, Special Chief Secretary (Energy), Telangana Government. He briefed on the various measures taken by Telangana Government to promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the State. Also emphasized on the need for effective policies to promote solar roof top programmes.

In a Special Address by Mr. Abhay Bakre, Director General, BEE, emphasis was made on the need for building energy efficiency as increase in energy consumption in buildings is likely to surpass all other sectors in the near future. He explained the various initiatives taken by BEE to promote and hand-hold States for ECBC implementation since its launch in 2007. He also mentioned on the thinking of BEE to create permanent ECBC cells, create third party pool of building efficiency professionals and build demo projects to showcase various aspects of ECBC.

Subsequently, Dr Srinivas, Programme Analyst, UNDP, presented an overview of efforts taken by UNDP on capacity building and providing Technical Assistance for ECBC implementation by BEE. He also suggested that UNDP is eager to support states with necessary technical assistance that are willing to establish ECBC cells in their states.

This was followed by a Panel Discussion Chaired by Mr. Anil Jain, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog. Representatives from each of the participating states took part in the panel discussion. Mr. Jain mentioned one of the mandates of NITI to support states and to act as ambassadors of States at Delhi. NITI will intervene in case of technology and policy issues where States need support. He also shared the example of energy efficiency retrofit measures carried out in NITI building with the help of EESL through ESCO route. He encouraged the states to give more focus on energy efficiency.

Taking part in the discussion, Telangana representative mentioned that the State has already notified ECBC and they are in the process of building the capacity of state officials for effective implementation of ECBC. With BEE support, ECBC cell has been established in the state. Third Party Assessors (TPAs) have been empanelled for ensuring ECBC compliance. He also mentioned that the Government has already issued instructions to all Government organizations to procure only BEE Star Labeled Appliances. Mr. Bakre, DG, BEE informed about the process of developing an App, a DIY wherein anyone can try different type of appliances to see the impact of energy consumption and calculate cost savings. He also mentioned that, BEE is considering to construct Super ECBC buildings in each of the climatic zones, as a kind of demo project to create awareness among public, about ECBC and its benefits.

Andhra Pradesh representative mentioned that lot of new infrastructure is being built by the state after bifurcation, giving a huge potential for energy efficiency implementation in the design stage. They are in the process of including energy efficient materials in the Schedule of Rates (SOR) which is likely to be rolled out by this year. Representative from Karnataka mentioned that the State has notified ECBC in November 2014 and explained about the challenges faced by state during notification regarding implementation and compliance among various departments. He also stressed the need for clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of different department/agencies before notification to ensure smoother roll out and implementation of ECBC.

Kerala representative mentioned that the initial works for ECBC was started in 2011 in their state. They undertook a detailed study of buildings to understand the baseline situation. A large bandwidth of Energy Performance Index (EPI) was observed from the study. Large number of capacity building training programs for ECBC implementation have been conducted at all levels. They are also developing a simple to use ECBC manual which will act as a ready reckoner for all stakeholders of ECBC in the state. They have also put in place defined timelines for ECBC approval process, in case of default it will be considered deemed approved. Tamilnadu representative mentioned that the state has amended the ECBC and is in the process for notification. Representative from Puducherry mentioned that they have amended the building bye laws for ECBC implementation. He also mentioned the holistic approach taken by their UT to not only focus of energy efficiency but on overall improvement of environmental conditions. He mentioned the lack of trained Energy Auditors in their UT and asked for necessary support for building the manpower capacity. Goa representative mentioned the challenges w.r.t. general perception on expensiveness of energy efficient buildings and its related materials and economic viability to make additional investment. In response Mr. Guru Shastry, Infosys explained how investments in energy efficiency is worth if it is considered on a life cycle cost basis and shared the example of Infosys data on investments and payback in building energy efficient systems.

In an open discussion Telangana representative mentioned about the online compliance system developed in GHMC to ensure ECBC compliance. Mr. Jain mentioned that best practices followed by any State should be replicated by other States to encourage mutual learning. Suggestions to incentivize uptake of ECBC through mechanisms like additional FAR, tax incentive, etc were also provided.

In the post lunch session, Mr. Jain mentioned about the ‘State Energy Efficiency Index’ that is being planned to be developed by NITI Aayog. He highlighted the need for such State index. He mentioned that NITI will soon reach to the States for wider consultation on the index. Mr. Jain requested State officials to be proactive and take up energy efficiency in a big way. He suggested trying different models and to encourage more ESCOs in the States. Each state can identify few land mark buildings such as Secretariat, High Courts, Railway Stations, etc and carryout energy efficiency retrofits which can serve as demo for others to follow.