Energy Efficiency in Buildings

After the first oil crisis in the mid-1970s, Europe and the rest of the world realized that security of energy supply is not guaranteed and energy can become too expensive, threatening economic development and harming the environment. Over the forty intervening years, energy efficiency (EE) has become recognised as a vital ingredient in EU policies, including a series of Directives that have applied to all Member States. Energy efficiency policies and measures in buildings have been a priority.

The EU continues to develop its energy efficiency policies with careful steps that would initially support:

  • Adoption of a foundation, in legislation and standards, which seeks to eliminate poor standards, reduce energy usage, costs and related emissions, and enable energy efficient product and services markets to grow.
  • Research and development for EE products and EE technical solutions, development of technical standards, etc.
  • Opening the EE market through a variety of actions, including financial support for EE projects, development of innovative financing mechanisms, awareness and information dissemination activities, promotion of best practices, implementation of demonstration projects, etc.

In general, the EU initially avoided taking strict compulsory regulatory measures that could harm local manufacturing, the construction industry and other market actors and burden consumers with extensive cost for EE solutions that were expensive at that time. As the market matured enough and EE products and technical solutions became available at affordable costs, EU started imposing obligatory EE measures through its legislation. The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, or EPBD, was a characteristic case of policy development since year 2000.  It has been accompanied and reinforced by directives on Energy Efficiency (EED), Energy Labelling and EcoDesign.  Further information, especially for the EPBD, can be found in the position papers available on this website.

Key EU policy background

The continually evolving and strengthening EU energy efficiency policies through the EPBD and EED are key instruments for driving market change in the construction sector and delivering on EU energy efficiency policy targets.  These two position papers look at the key aspects and implementation experience to date across the EU, which has been diverse, but there are many good practice case examples relevant to the ECBC.  Despite the challenges, EPBD implementation has resulted in step changes in the ambition level of national building codes in Europe and is driving real improvements in the energy performance, environmental quality and long term economic sustainability of the building stock.  It is making energy performance an increasingly visible feature in the construction and property market, and its impact on building specification has begun to extend from the newbuild sector into the renovation sector.

No. Position Paper Indicative elements
1 EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: the continuing journey
  • Background and origin
  • Alignment and linkage with other EU policies
  • Key requirements relevant to building energy codes
  • Review and strengthening – from phase 1 to phase 3
  • Institutional and legal processes
  • Market stimulus role of energy performance certification (EPC) or labelling
  • Key support roles of collaborative ‘Concerted Action’ and European Standards
  • Implementation experiences – variability, good practice examples, learnings
  • Impacts of EPBD – market capacity and behaviour, overall energy savings
  • Next phase: driving for nearly zero energy buildings, the renovation challenge, smart buildings, smart financing
2 Developing EE policies in EU and their relation with EE in buildings
  • Overview of evolution of energy policies in EU since 80s up to date
  • The logic of development policies, from voluntary measures to compulsory regulations
  • Key directives and regulations
  • How the Energy Efficiency Directive unifies and promotes all EE policies, including Energy Performance of Building Directives

ECBC 2017 (Energy Conservation Building Code) was launched by Hon’ble Minister (IC) for Coal, Mines, NRE and Power on 19thJune, 2017 at Delhi and is applicable for large commercial buildings with connected load of 100 kW and above or 120 kVA and above. ECBC focuses on building envelope, mechanical systems and equipment including heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, interior and exterior lighting systems, electrical system and renewable energy, and also takes into account the five climates zones (Hot Dry, Warm Humid, Temperate, Composite and Cold) present in India.

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The ECBC was developed by an Expert Committee, set up by India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, with support and guidance from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and significant inputs from various other stakeholders such as practicing architects, consultants, educational institutions and other government organizations.The successful implementation of the code requires development of compliance procedures (compliance forms and development of field-test compliance forms and procedures), in addition to building capacity of architects/designers/builders/contractors and government official in States and Urban and Local Bodies (ULBs). It is also dependent on availability of materials and equipment that meet or exceed performance specifications specified in ECBC.

BEE with the support of USAID ECO- III Project is promoting ECBC awareness and voluntary adoption through training and capacity building programmes, pilot demonstration projects, and identifying steps for compliance check and monitoring of ECBC. ECBC User Guide was developed to support ECBC implementation by providing detailed guidance to the users on how to comply with the Code. Four ECBC tip sheets on Energy Simulation, Building Envelope, Lighting Design and HVAC are also available and provide useful information on Code compliance at the system level and through Whole Building Performance approach that require knowledge of energy simulation to model the proposed building.

The ECBC provides design norms for:

  • Building envelope, including thermal performance requirements for walls, roofs, and windows;
  • Lighting system, including daylighting, and lamps and luminaire performance requirements;
  • HVAC system, including energy performance of chillers and air distribution systems;
  • Electrical system; and
  • Water heating and pumping systems, including requirements for solar hot-water systems.

The code provides three options for compliance:

  • Compliance with the performance requirements for each subsystem and system;
  • Compliance with the performance requirements of each system, but with tradeoffs between subsystems; and
  • Building-level performance compliance.

During the development of ECBC, analysis conducted through energy simulation indicated that ECBC-compliant buildings may use 40 to 60% less energy than similar buildings being designed and constructed at that time.

  1. Upload latest version of ECBC
  2. Journey of ECBC from 2007 to 2018

Setting up ECBC cells

The ECBC cells were set up in 4 states by December 2016. The cell members are well qualified and equipped with the professional skills required for the tasks to be delivered under this project. The team consists of the architects and engineers having relevant experience in the building energy efficiency, building physics, green buildings etc. The team for the cells is as below:

S.No. State Cell operation date Present Cell members
1 Maharashtra September 2016 – to date Ms Sanghamitra (architect) and
Mr Tarun Sachdeva (Engineer)
2 Madhya Pradesh August 2016 – to date Mr Kaushal (Engineer)
3 Odisha December 2016 – to date Ms Pratyasha Tripathy (Engineer) and Mr. Sambit Mahapatra (architect)
4 Bihar December 2016 – to date Ms Shammi Noor (Engineer)

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of EXERGIA S.A. in collaboration with PwC India and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.