Energy Efficient Bulidings - Need of the Hour

Buildings consume 30 percent of India’s energy. Generation of electricity is highly capital intensive in India, due to low plant load factor and high degree of transmission losses prevalent in the country. In national average terms, generation of 1 MW of electricity costs approximately 4 crores. The rising cost of energy coupled with increasing demand has compelled the need for urgent and effective energy saving measures. Consider that one unit of energy saved during the consumption process has the potential to reduce the need for new capacity creation by 2 to 2.5 times and savings through efficient practices can be achieved by investing 1/5th of the cost of fresh capacity creation. In terms of existing commercial buildings constituting of office buildings, retail, hotels, hospitals and private educational institutions the split of energy usage is approximately 60 - 70% air conditioning, lights 20%, and equipment and systems 15%. In hospitals and malls, HVAC accounts for 60-70% of the total load. In office buildings and IT complexes, HVAC accounts for around 40% of the total load, the rest being split between lighting and other loads (lifts, UPS, computers).In educational institutions, lighting has a higher around 30%. Awareness among investors and builders is another major hurdle. There is no compulsion from the government to implement green energy measures in buildings, most codes stated by are guidelines to practices and only very recently have been moved to become mandatory practices. Builders are wary that the cost of additional design measures will be pushed on to them, while investors are skeptical about the effectiveness of new designs. Many commercial space owners have admitted that energy efficiency is a priority but are skeptical about the efficiency of energy saving options. A lot of commercial spaces are compelled to use DG's as alternate for grid power, due to power outages (standard 4hours).With respect to alternate options, the only efficient options that seem to have relative awareness are LED lights and solar heaters and even then they state a lot of issues such as high failure rates for LED because frequent power cuts causes surges and that they cannot provide lux levels of 300 and above, and long installation time.

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