Mandatory Energy Efficiency for Commercial Buildings Considered

WITH THE Indian State of Tamil Nadu’s power demand is more than 11,000 mega watts (MW), the Tamil Nadu Electrical Inspectorate (TNEI) is considering mandatory  energy efficiency for commercial buildings.

The Indian Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), launched in 2007, lists the energy performance requirements for commercial buildings with an electrical load of 500 KW or more, but the code is currently not mandatory.

TNEI, who are the state’s designated agency for the Indian Bureau Of Energy Efficiency, is now planning to include the Building Code into the municipal bylaw, thus making it compulsory.

The TNEI met Chennai (Madras) Municipal Development Authority pollution control board, along with other stake holders, discussed how the regulation can be made bounding.

A senior government official who attended the meeting and stated: “Commercial buildings having more than 1,000 square metres of air conditioned area will need to have energy efficient measures in place."

Energy audits that have been conducted in many commercial buildings revealing energy saving potential from lighting, cooling and ventilation alone is between 20 and 50 percent.

The government official added: "We found out that nearly 5 MW can be saved by implementing it in some 300 odd buildings. The savings will be more if we make it mandatory for all commercial buildings."

Lighting, refrigeration, air conditioning and mechanical systems like pumps are major areas where energy efficiency can be most effective.

The power demand across Tamil Nadu, on the southern most tip of India, is rising at more than 10 percent per annum, with rapid expansion of commercial and residential areas compare to sluggish development of new power generation plants, hence the need for compulsory energy efficiency codes for commercial buildings.

Picture by Balasubramanian G Velu (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday 21st March 2011

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