Andhra Pradesh Leadership on Energy Efficiency Sets an Example for India
Posted November 12, 2012 in Solving Global Warming
Last week Andhra Pradesh took a historic step towards planning for its energy future. The state leadership announced that it will adopt the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) by early 2013, a step that will benefit Andhra Pradesh by achieving immense energy and cost savings, fighting climate change and providing energy security against the increasing number of blackouts across the region. The announcement, along with the new ASCI-NRDC report “Constructing Change: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in India’s Building Market” released by the Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, marked a momentous step in the state becoming an energy saving leader while setting an example for the rest of the country to follow.
A state-wide energy efficiency code, or the ECBC, sets minimum energy efficiency standards for the most energy intensive buildings and captures energy savings where they can be the greatest – such as in the building envelope (walls, roof, windows), lighting, HVAC system, and electrical system. The code applies to energy intensive buildings with a connected load of 100 kW or 120 kVA, including commercial buildings, offices, hospitals, information technology parks, and high-rise residential buildings. As discussed in our report Constructing Change, state and local governments can play a key role in scaling up energy efficiency in buildings by adopting the ECBC and implementing an effective code compliance mechanism. States across India are already recognizing the tremendous benefits to be gained from ECBC adoption, as demonstrated in a key new graphic from our report Constructing Change which shows the states that are leading on advancing energy efficiency measures in buildings:
Another key stakeholder group discussed in the report Constructing Change are real estate developers. The Indian real estate industry is projected to reach INR 8,640 billion by 2020. Real estate developers drive demand for building development and have significant influence over the market’s adoption of efficiency practices. Developers can reap significant cost and energy savings by investing in energy efficiency measures now, a trend that champion developers are already following in India and internationally. The report identifies several action steps that the real estate community can take, including identifying case studies and encouraging peer-to-peer education about cost-saving opportunities so as to significantly benefit from energy efficient construction.
Financial institutions are a third stakeholder group that the report Constructing Change focuses on. Banks and financial groups are crucial to efficient building construction in India. While energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to achieve significant energy savings, such measures are often rejected because of high upfront costs, especially for smaller-scale developers. India’s finance sector however has yet to realize the potential of energy efficiency financing. The report provides recommendations for spurring leadership by financial institutions to innovate and create effective financing mechanisms with leading developers to catalyze large scale energy efficient construction.
India is the world’s second fastest growing economy and has enormous hurdles to overcome in ensuring a prosperous, sustainable energy future. The country is also at a unique crossroads in its development path where seventy percent of the buildings that will exist in India by 2030 have yet to be built. Andhra Pradesh is capitalizing on this opportunity by working to implement the ECBC by early 2013, and leading the way for states to follow by building efficiently from the start. As stressed in our report Constructing Change, prioritizing energy efficiency in India’s booming building construction will help India meet its enormous energy needs, improve energy security, and propel India forward in the global clean energy race.
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