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Journal article

Improving building energy efficiency in India: State-level analysis of building energy efficiency policies

30 Aug 2017

India is expected to add 40 billion m2 of new buildings till 2050. Buildings are responsible for one third of India's total energy consumption today and building energy use is expected to continue growing driven by rapid income and population growth. The implementation of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) is one of the measures to improve building energy efficiency. Using the Global ChangeAssessment Model, this study assesses growth in the buildings sector and impacts of building energy policies in Gujarat, which would help the state adopt ECBC and expand building energy efficiency programs. Without building energy policies, building energy use in Gujarat would grow by 15 times in commercial buildings and 4 times in urban residential buildings between 2010 and 2050. ECBC improves energy efficiency in commercial buildings and could reduce building electricity use in Gujarat by 20% in 2050, compared to the no policy scenario. Having energy codes for both commercial and residential buildings could result in additional 10% savings in electricity use. To achieve these intended savings, it is critical to build capacity and institution for robust code implementation.

India is experiencing a construction boom and strong building energy efficiency policies are key to avoiding excessive growth in electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions. Energy codes and green building policies are often used to encourage energy efficient designs of buildings and set an efficient path for new constructions. The government of India has developed an energy code, ECBC, to regulate energy efficiency in new commercial buildings, and there are several green building programs working in parallel with ECBC. Implementation of these policies depends on efforts at the state and local levels, and therefore, understanding the benefits of these policies would help state and local stakeholders adopt building energy policies and motivate effective policy implementation. This paper takes the State of Gujarat as an example and assesses the impacts of ECBC and other building energy programs at the state level.

ECBC, energy codes, and green building programs would generate energy savings, reduce electricity capacity additions, and create economic savings. They can also help alleviate local air pollution and provide health benefits. These policies together can serve as strategies to implement India's Nationally Determined Contribution, and thus achieve climate change mitigation.


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