Due to rapid global warming and resultant climate changes, the threat of energy deficiency is increasing and urgent measures are needed to rectify the situation. Studies have revealed that buildings contribute to global warming and tackling these issues at the root level would contribute significantly to the saving energy. The Energy Conservation Act 2001 was passed in the year 2001 by the Indian Parliament to tackle the need for promoting energy conservation in India. To facilitate the implementation of the Act, the government set up the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to oversee development of energy conservation programs. BEE developed the Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC) to provide requirements for energy efficient and sustainable design and construction of buildings.
While the code has been recommended for all building stock, it has been proposed to make the ECBE mandatory for all new buildings that have a connected load of 500 kW or greater or a contract demand of 600 kVA or greater. The code is also applicable to all buildings with a conditioned floor area of 1,000 m2 (10,000 ft2) or greater. The Code sets the minimum energy performance standards for large commercial buildings after taking into account the five climatic zones of the country.
As per the Act, State Governments have the authority to make changes in ECBC to suit the requirement of the regional and local conditions and building demands - building owners have to comply with the ECBC. In Gujarat, BEE has designated Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) with the responsibility of implementing the Code.
UMC has been roped in by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and ClimateWorks Foundation to work with select local governments in the state to facilitate implementation of the Code in the cities. UMC organized training and capacity building workshops for city managers. UMC reviewied the existing process of building plans approval framework in cities to apply ECBC and how the process and system could be modified to accommodate ECBC.
UMC has also surveyed the energy consumption of local government buildings in Ahmedabad and Vadodara to benchmark energy requirements.