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Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)

Why is it in the news?

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlighted India as a “notable exception” among developing economies for having energy efficiency building codes.

About ECBC

  • The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was first introduced by the Ministry of Power’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in 2007, with an update in 2017.
  • Currently, 23 states in India have notified rules to enforce ECBC compliance, while some large states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are in the process of drafting rules.
  • Buildings in India account for 30% of total electricity consumption, which is expected to rise to 50% by 2042.
  • Approximately 40% of buildings that will exist in the next two decades are yet to be constructed, providing an opportunity for sustainable building practices.
  • ECBC sets minimum energy standards for commercial buildings, aiming for energy savings of 25-50% in compliant buildings.
  • It applies to commercial buildings with a connected load of 100 kW or more or a contract demand of 120 kVA or more.
  • It covers six components of building design, including envelope, lighting systems, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and electrical power systems.
  • There are three compliance levels: ECBC, ECBC Plus, and Super ECBC.
  • The 2017 update emphasizes renewable energy integration, ease of compliance, passive building design, and flexibility for designers.
  • States have the flexibility to modify the code to suit regional needs and must draft rules to enforce it as state laws.

State-wise Implementation of ECBC:

  • While 23 out of 28 states have notified ECBC rules, only 15 have adopted the latest 2017 version.
  • States like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Kerala have implemented the 2017 ECBC.
  • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Manipur have not yet notified ECBC rules, potentially missing out on energy efficiency benefits.

Energy Efficiency Rankings:

  • The State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) in 2022 rated Karnataka as the top state for energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Telangana, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab were the top five large states in energy efficiency.
  • Bihar, along with Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Jharkhand, received low scores for energy efficiency in buildings.

Future Expectations:

  • India aims to transition ECBC into the Energy Conservation and Sustainability Building Code.
  • The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2022, will incorporate measures related to embedded carbon, net-zero emissions, clean energy deployment, and circularity.
  • Residential buildings will also come under mandatory codes, with ECO Niwas Samhita. The government is expected to update ECO Niwas Samhita, after which states will notify rules based on the code.


ECO Niwas

·       It primarily focuses on enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings.

·       ECO Niwas takes into account the diverse climate zones in India, including Hot Dry, Warm Humid, Temperate, Composite, and Cold zones.

·       The code is designed to ensure that energy efficiency measures are appropriate for each specific climate zone.

·       Notably, ECO Niwas addresses energy efficiency but does not include provisions for water conservation or other non-energy-related aspects of building construction and operation.

·       It is primarily focused on reducing energy consumption and promoting sustainable building practices in India’s diverse climatic conditions.

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