Energy Conservation Building Code: The need of the Hour

Energy Conservation Building Code: The need of the Hour

Energy Efficiency

India is experiencing an unprecedented construction boom. The country doubled its floorspace between 2001 and 2005 and is expected to add 35 billion m2 of new buildings by 2050 according to Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Buildings account for near about 35% of total final energy consumption in India today, Studies have shown that carbon policies will have little effect on reducing building energy demand. If there are no specific sectoral policies to curb building energy use, final energy demand of the Indian building sector will grow over five times by the end of this century, driven by rapid income and population growth. The growing energy demand in buildings is accompanied by a transition from traditional biomass to commercial fuels, particularly an increase in electricity use. This also leads to a rapid increase in carbon emissions and aggravates power shortages in India. Growth in building energy use poses a challenge for the Indian government. To curb energy consumption in buildings, the Indian government issued the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) in 2007, which applies to commercial buildings with a connected load of 100 kW or 120kVA.

According to report, Previous studies estimated that the implementation of ECBC could help save 25-40% of energy, compared to reference buildings without such energy efficiency measures (IEEMA, 2007; Tulsyan et al., 2013). However, the impact of ECBC depends on the effectiveness of its enforcement and compliance. Currently, the majority of buildings in India are not ECBC-compliant. The United Nations Development Programme projected that code compliance in India would reach 35% by 2015 and 64% by 2017 (UNDP, 2011). Whether the projected targets can be achieved depends on how the code enforcement system is designed and implemented. Although the development of ECBC lies in the hands of the national government the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the Ministry of Power, the adoption and implementation of ECBC largely relies on state and local governments.

Understanding Energy Conservation Building Code:

Energy Efficiency is a word we often heard to save the energy and conserve it, Ministry of Power initiated and formed BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) was formed and its function is to develop programs which will increase the conservation and efficient use of energy in India. It was formed after the Energy Conservation Act 2001 that was initiated by Govt. of India to promote and take care the most critical topic that is Energy Conservation.

At first BEE’s Main function was to promote Energy Efficiency and develop awareness about Energy Conservation among the people, initially they come up with giving the standards and ratings to different electronic equipment on the basis of their energy consumption, But later on with the increasing Green Building Movement in India they realised the need for Energy Efficient Buildings in India and how it will be the need of the future.

Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was initiated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power in the year 2007 to Promote Energy Efficient Buildings in India. Initially, the Buildings which needed to be made according to ECBC were Buildings having a connected load of 500 KW or more but now the Code is applicable to buildings or building complexes that have:

  • Connected Load in excess of 100kW
  • Contract Demand in excess of 120 kVA
  • Recommended for all buildings with conditioned area >500 m2

The objective of ECBC is to provide minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and design of buildings and their systems.

ECBC encourages energy efficient design or retrofit of buildings so that it does not constrain the building function, comfort, health, or the productivity of the occupants. ECBC also mandates that the building has appropriate regard for economic considerations. The code sets clear criteria for builders, designers, and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design through the inclusion of passive design strategies.


The Buildings where ECBC is applicable are:

  • Large Commercial Buildings
  • Office Buildings
  • Large Amenity Buildings
  • IT Parks
  • Government Buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Retail Malls
  • Hotels
  • Major Residential Buildings

The building systems in which ECBC is applicable are:

Envelope of building Building envelope, including thermal performance requirements for walls, roofs, and windows
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) HVAC system, including energy performance of chillers and air distribution systems.

Service hot water and pumping Water heating and pumping systems, including requirements for solar hot-water systems.
Lighting Lighting system, including daylighting, and lamps and luminaire performance requirements.

Electrical power Electrical system

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable and desirable within the international construction market.

Energy Conservation Building Code 2017

This Year Bureau of Energy Efficiency does some amendments in the Energy Conservation Building code and relaunched the code with Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017), It was launched by then Minister of Power Mr. Piyush Goyal on 20th June 2017. ECBC 2017 aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants. The code aims to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

Apart from the current and futuristic advancements in building technology, the new code takes into account market changes and energy demand scenario of the country. The code has been set in such a way that it will set a benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally.

To be ECBC-compliant, the new buildings should be able to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%. Energy savings of 35% and 50% will enable the buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC plus or super ECBC status respectively.

The adoption of ECBC 2017 is expected to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030 which will translate into energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by the year 2030. It will result in expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and reduction of 250 million tonnes of Co2.

So let us Understand what are the benefits Involved for ECBC Compliant Buildings

  • Reduce energy consumption;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions;
  • Lower costs through energy savings;
  • Accelerate deployment of energy-efficient technologies.
  • Use of Energy Efficient Equipments.
  • Awareness and importance of Energy Conservation.
  • Better use of Natural Resources

How ECBC Compliant Buildings of this ECBC Code is Affecting our Economy:

  • Impact of ECBC Compliance
  • Market Development for Energy Efficient products.
  • Building Insulation
  • High Efficient windows
  • High-efficiency HVAC system
  • Improved Design Practices
  • Lighting And Daylighting
  • Natural Ventilation/Free Cooling System
  • Improved Building Performance
  • Lower HVAC load
  • Lesser addition of power generation capacity

State Notification:

Till now ECBC is notified in following states: Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttrakhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and UT of Puducherry. Total 10 states have amended ECBC to suit their local and regional climatic condition these are Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujrat, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The other remaining states that are in the process of amendment of ECBC are Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Goa and Madhya Pradesh.


Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable and desirable within the construction market.