Third Regional Workshop on Energy Conservation Building Code Implementation in States – Guwahati, 23-24 March, 2017

In continuation of the 1st and 2nd Regional Workshops in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, the Third Regional Energy Conservation Buildings Code (ECBC) Workshop was organized by NITI Aayog on 23rd-24th March, 2017 in Guwahati. With the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Global Environment Fund (GEF), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) as partners, this third edition of the Workshop was organized to sensitise and check the status of ECBC rollout in the states. The Workshop, which saw participation from the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and West Bengal, was spread over one and a half days with deliberations on the various state led initiatives for enabling development of energy efficiency codes for buildings.

The first day of the event opened with welcome remarks from Dr Satish Kumar, Chairman, AEEE. The first presentation of the event was made by Architect Ritwik Hazarika, who showcased to the audience the work that is currently underway for developing a green building in Guwahati highlighting the key role of building design in ensuring energy efficient buildings. Thereafter, the audience was also exposed to the concept of net-zero buildings, with examples of best practices across the country through an audio-visual presentation. The first day concluded with a question and answer session with the participants.

The second day of the workshop was spread over four sessions.

The inaugural session began with welcome remarks by Mr Harendra Kumar, Joint Advisor, NITI Aayog. This was followed by a presentation by Mr Sathis Kumar, OSD, NITI Aayog who showcased efforts that had been taken up by NITI Aayog to retrofit and make significant energy efficiency improvements in its own building in New Delhi. Subsequent presentations by Mr Saurabh Diddi, Energy Economist, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), highlighted the efforts that have been taken up by BEE over the last decade and the current scenario of ECBC rollout across the states. Thereafter, he presented the efforts which are being taken up by BEE to implement the revised 2017 ECBC codes, and changes bring incorporated from the existing version. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Srinivas, Programme Analyst UNDP, who presented an overview of the efforts that UNDP had been taking up on capacity development, implementation assistance and in supporting case study buildings for implementation of ECBC. He also suggested that UNDP was eager to support states with necessary technical assistance as might be required for creation of ECBC cells.

Mr Rajiv Bora, Additional Chief Secretary, Power, Government of Assam, while delivering the key-note address for the workshop, pointed out that while a large amount of real-estate has grown over the last decade, the overall demand and building stock will continue to rise for the next couple of decades, doubling or possibly tripling over this period. Citing the example of Assam, a state which has been marginally energy deficient, he mentioned that energy efficiency alone can address this deficit requirement. He also emphasised the role of training programs and capacity building in transitioning to ECBC compliance. Mr Bora highlighted the concern that policies become ineffective in the absence of adequate enforcement. Hence, there is urgent need for putting ECBC enforcement mechanisms in place. The inaugural session concluded with Dr Satish Kumar, Executive Chairman, AEEE summarising and thanking the speakers for the first session.

The second session focused on the perspectives of the states in implementing ECBC norms. Ms Mohini Singh, Senior Researcher, AEEE, gave the audience an overview of ECBC and summary of the progress of ECBC across the country. Dr Satish Kumar set the theme for the subsequent panel discussion by highlighted some of the challenges, such as inter-departmental coordination, capacity building, etc., that the states might be facing in rolling out the regulations.

Mr Kundra, Commissioner of Power and Finance, Arunachal Pradesh, suggested that the awareness relating to energy efficient buildings need to be strengthened. Capabilities of architects, developers and civil engineers, hand in hand with capacities among policy makers was vital, and something that is currently very limited. He highlighted that pilot projects that would help showcase the potential that is offered by energy efficient buildings is also the need of the hour. Mr Adil, consultant with the Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency for ECBC implementation, explained to the group the new application called the ECBCAPP that has been developed to be a smart assist for people. Mr Praveen Sajjad, Consultant, SDA, Assam and Mr Nagen Kalita, Town & Country Planning, Assam, gave an overview of the draft outline of the ECBC notification for Assam. Mr Hijam Chittan, Deputy Manager, Manipur State Power Company, the SDA for the state explained the challenge that is currently there in the state for implementing ECBC in the state. Mr P. Shullet, Sr Electrical Inspector from Meghalaya pointed out that while the state has started the discussions on ECBC over the last five years, the movement has been slow. The draft notification, he cited, has however already been developed and is currently under review. Applicability of ECBC in the NE states could be brought down to 50kW, rather than having one size fit all 100kW, since it would increase the scope and applicability of ECBC, he suggested. The status of ECBC in the state of Sikkim was presented by Mr Dilip Kumar Sharma, the Nodal Officer in charge of the SDA in Sikkim. He mentioned that there was a challenge in the state of integrating and bringing together officials from different departments to address the issue of ECBC. Mr PK Pal, highlighted the efforts that have been taken up by the West Bengal government on the issue of ECBC. He mentioned that the state had already initiated the process of convening a committee for implementing ECBC in the state. He thanked the group gathered for organising this workshop, and requested UNDP to extend the existing support for capacity building if required going forward. Mr Phillip, representing the government of Nagaland highlighted the efforts which are currently underway in the state. A short presentation was also made by Mr Marki Loya, Director, APEDA, about the approach that has been taken by the state in fine tuning ECBC for applicability in Arunachal Pradesh. The last presentation of the session was made by Mr Preetu K Patgiri from EESL Guwahati who focused on the energy efficiency potential and possibilities of energy savings in existing buildings.

The post lunch session opened with a presentation by Mr Kanagaraj, Consultant, UNDP. He outlined the significance and approaches for ECBC notification citing specific examples from different states that have notified ECBC and the corresponding state departments involved. He specifically showcased the approach that had been followed by the Karnataka government for implementing the ECBC in the state. The final presentation of the day was given by Mr Gaurav Shorey, Director – PSI Energy Private Limited. Through various examples from both hot and cold regions he emphasised that ECBC compliance is very simple by just following an integrated approach where architects and engineers work as a team.

The workshop concluded with closing remarks from Dr Satish Kumar. He outlined that the lessons from the workshop needed to be taken up by the states going forward, and requested for an integrated and coordinated approach in making ECBC a success.

The subsequent workshop is planned to be held in Ranchi, Jharkhand on 19 – 20th of April, 2017 involving states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Bihar.