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Home News Power Sector News BEE starts certification for energy efficient buildings-RBI gets 5-star

BEE starts certification for energy efficient buildings-RBI gets 5-star

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RBI  DelhiGet ready for certified energy efficient buildings now. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), after having started a star rating programme for electronic goods, is extending the scheme to buildings as well. The ratings, meant only for offices at present, will award certificates to buildings based on their energy consumption over a period of at least one year.

The programme officially launched by Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, will be voluntary. Organizations that apply to BEE will be assessed on their power consumption and awarded star ratings from one to five, with five signifying a highly
efficient building. It takes off from the energy conservation building code that had been enforced in May 2007. So far around
500 buildings have been designed according to it.

"At present, the programme is only for office buildings. Buildings that have been operational for a year or more only can apply for the certification as their power bills for one year would have to be considered. Based on that and the area under use, we will calculate their energy performance index,'' said Ajay Mathur, director general, BEE.

Also, according to officials only `officiable' portions of the buildings will be considered for assessment which means
basements and terraces will be left out.

Cities have been put into three climatic zones composite, hot and dry, hot and humid and separate assessment parameters have been formulated for each. "We have studied buildings on the basis of their energy consumption and collected data of over 700 buildings across the country in last two years. We have seen an energy growth of about 12-13% each year. Even though the scheme is voluntary, we hope that demand will regulate construction. Once users realise the benefits of energy efficient buildings and low power bills, they will ask to purchase or rent such buildings and builders will have to adopt better construction practices,'' said Mathur.

However, only existing buildings will benefit from the programme since a building has to be in existence for at least one year to qualify for the audit. "New buildings can probably take tips from LEED or GRIHA codes developed by separate organizations for energy efficient buildings so that when they are finally assessed, they can get a good rating,'' added Mathur.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is showing the way as far as energy conservation in the Capital is concerned. Its office building
in the Capital has been tagged with a four-star based on its energy efficiency by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The RBI office building in Bhubaneswar has snagged the prestigious 5-star.

Though the programme for rating office buildings on a 1-5 scale was formally inaugurated last week, BEE went a step forward to tag RBI offices in Bhubaneshwar and Delhi first. "We carried out a survey and found that the RBI office buildings were pioneers in energy conservation and gave them the tags based on their performance. We are hopeful that many more office buildings will apply for star ratings in the future. The rating programme will bring the buildings public recognition and help tenants understand that they will be paying a lower power bill because their building has been officially renognised as energy efficient. Also, the building owner will be able to position the building as a premier one,'' said Ajay Mathur, director
general, BEE.

To encourage more building owners to come forward and apply, Shinde also announced that the first 100 buildings which would apply for the scheme would get a waiver of the Rs 1 lakh registration fee. "The programme is not just for government buildings.

We want to see more participation from private buildings for the programme,'' said Shinde. According to RBI officials, they identified energy conservation as a goal in 1998 and started implementation process two years later. "We roped in BSNL to conduct a periodical energy audit for us and make it a point to incorporate all suggestions. Energy conservation has helped bring down our power consumption drastically and reduced our electricity bill by upto 50%,'' said Anand
Prakash, general manager, RBI Delhi.

The energy audits (held every two years) have helped RBI officials keep a close tab on power consumption. "We have guidelines to follow. The technically feasible short-term measures are implemented immediately while the long-term measures which require capital investment are examined and an appropriate decision is taken considering the aging, technology and payback period,'' said an RBI official.

RBI officials added that making their building energy efficient came at a huge investment also. "The energy efficient chiller package itself costs crores,'' said one official. The use of solar energy has also been examined by RBI and solar water heating system has been provided in many of its offices.

Source - Economic times, Times of India

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