Commercial sector in India at present accounts for about 8% of the total electricity consumption in the country. However electricity consumption in this sector has been has been growing at a very fast pace. An average annual growth rate of 13.5% has been seen in last four years. This is attributed to the ever increasing energy consumption in existing buildings as well as increasing energy intensiveness of newly constructed commercial buildings such as multi specialty hospitals, luxury hotels, retail malls, modern office buildings, data centers, etc. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been promoting energy efficiency in new commercial buildings through the voluntary adoption of Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) launched in May 2007. It has also started Energy Star Rating Program for existing commercial buildings.
To support of BEE initiatives on energy efficiency in buildings, USAID through its ECO-III Project is supporting the establishment of a Regional Energy Efficiency Center (REEC). REEC is located at the Center of Sustainable Environment and Energy (CSEE) at Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad.
Overall mission of REEC is to raise awareness on energy efficiency and ECBC among practicing building designers, academia, concerned government authorities, building construction industry, etc. Towards this, REEC has established building simulation facilities for training purposes and Building Energy performance Laboratory (BEPL) to test thermal properties of building materials.
- Provide training to design professionals and educators on energy simulation programs for designing energy efficient buildings
- Assist Gujarat Government in adoption of ECBC and facilitate development of building regulations for ECBC compliance
- Promote adoption of energy efficient materials in the buildings, and facilitate establishment of certification and labeling program for fenestration products
- Develop data base on energy efficient techniques and construction technologies for buildings
- Enhance educational courses on building science and building energy performance diagnostics
- CEPT completed the installation, calibration, and commissioning of REEC equipment provided under ECO-III.
- Building on USAID support, Glazing Society of India (GSI) is continuing its ongoing five-year support to CEPT for establishing the Building Energy Performance Lab (BPEL) in the REEC. GSI has donated Spectrophotometer and Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) Spectroscopy equipment.
- CEPT has received financial support of $162,500 (Rs. 7.8 million) from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India to design, build and install a Solar Calorimeter for the REEC.
- With the appointment of Executive Director and other technical and management staff, CEPT has stated offering its building material testing services to the concerned stakeholders.
- CEPT has initiated the process to get NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) and ISO certification for its BEPL.
- Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), on behalf of Government of Gujarat has provided funds to CEPT for construction of a building to house the REEC and related activities. The building is being planned and designed as a Net Zero Energy Building. ECO-III has been providing technical assistance in this activity.
- CEPT is currently developing a policy paper on partial compliance for ECBC with funding from Climate Works/Shakti Foundation, a background paper on insulation material for buildings with funding from Swiss Development Corporation, and carrying out a field research and demonstration project on spray based insulation technology in association with Honeywell Insulation.