With Direct Policy Action in the Residential Sector in India, it is Possible to Realize 57% of Energy Savings by 2050 Compared to Business as Usual, Says New Report

(Paris and Ahmedabad, 23 September 2014) The Report entitled Residential Buildings in India: Energy Use Projections and Savings Potentials released today by the GBPN and jointly developed with the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University provides a first attempt to document energy saving potentials that could be achieved in India by 2050 in the residential sector. Four energy scenarios have been developed to identify the potential energy savings, each relating to a level of ambition of building performance policies and market efforts. Infographics of the main findings of the Report is available here.

In the context of the publication of the ‘Energy-Efficient Design Guidelines for Multi-Storey Residential Buildings’ by the Indian Government on 2 September 2014, this new study provides decision makers with recommendations about future actions to achieve deep energy savings from the residential building sector while generating a wide range of positive economic, environmental and social opportunities.

“As energy consumption from residential buildings is predicted to rise by more than eight times by 2050 under the business as usual scenario, it is of vital importance for India to develop energy-efficiency strategies focused on the residential sector to limit the current trend of unsustainable escalating energy demand”, says Peter Graham, GBPN Executive Director. “This report demonstrates that a very aggressive building energy efficiency policy and market driven scenario can substantially reduce future energy demand in the residential sector and help India address current challenges posed by the population growth, higher comfort expectations and the increased use of appliances”, notes Peter Graham.

The report investigates four possible residential electricity consumption projections up to 2050 compared to today’s levels: business-as-usual, moderate, aggressive and very aggressive. The study specifically focuses on assessing the role of the building envelopes in relation to comfort air conditioning systems and appliances in order to ensure energy efficient dwellings for urban and rural residential sectors. Under the business-as-usual scenario, electricity consumption could rise by more than eight times by 2050 compared to 2012 levels. However, using focused policy and market efforts, the moderate, aggressive, and very aggressive strategies can respectively limit the consumption increases to five times, four times and three times the current energy use, which would represent relative energy savings of 27%, 44%, and 57% compared to business-as-usual.

To achieve the potentials, the report identifies the following recommendations for action:

  1. Better Data: Introduction of a residential baseline energy data programme using a large survey to provide a detailed picture of current residential energy consumption patterns;
  2. Policy Roadmaps: Elaboration of policy roadmaps that can support the implementation of energy efficiency measures for residential buildings;
  3. Residential Building Energy Code: Development of a specific code focussing on residential building envelope efficiency adapted to the different climate zones to realise the saving potentials of all building envelope components to address the rising demand for thermal comfort.

“Our goal was to bridge the current knowledge and data gap in the residential sector in India ”, says professor Rajan Rawal, Director of the Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy at CEPT University “For this purpose, we conducted a high quality field survey of 800 households in order to map current penetration rate of appliances and better understand electricity consumption patterns for different sizes of residential units with varying occupancy rates, appliances and for four different climate zones of the country. Based on the building energy modelling, we quantified comfort benefits and the energy savings potentials of better-performing building envelopes using the “Energy Conservation Building Code” (ECBC) envelope characteristics”, explains Rajan Rawal.

The report was released today at the occasion of the Conclave on Green Architecture - “Building Sense: Towards Sustainable Buildings and Habitat” - organised by the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi (www.cseindia.org).   

Formats of the report: 

Briefing -  Executive Summary - Technical Report - Infographics - Multimedia

More information


About the GBPN:

The Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) is a globally organised and regionally focused organisation whose mission is to provide policy expertise and technical assistance to advance building energy performance and realise sustainable built environments for all.

About CEPT:

This publication has been developed with the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology’ (CEPT) University. Survey, data collection and analysis performed by the Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science & Energy (CARBSE) at the (CEPT) University. CEPT University focuses on understanding, designing, planning, constructing and managing human habitats. Its teaching programs build thoughtful professionals and its research programs deepen understanding of human settlements. CEPT University also undertakes advocacy and advisory projects to further the goal of making habitats more liveable.