India is poised to make critical shifts towards a more sustainable construction sector after a milestone amendment bill was passed in the lower house of Parliament in August. Once it is passed in the upper house of the Parliament later this year, the Bill will enhance the scope of the Energy Conservation Building Code to include large residential buildings.

The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, mandates the Energy Conservation Building Code-Residential or Eco-Niwas Sahmita (ENS) to be adopted nationally and will require all States and Municipalities in India to adopt and implement the code. The additional provisions of the EC Act are estimated to avoid between 135-178MtC02 of additional buildings sector emissions by 2030. 

The Indian Government has also announced that 8 million new affordable homes will be built in India in FY 2022-22 under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY 2.0), a mission to increase affordable housing. 

The bill  represents a significant commitment to reduce emissions intensity of India’s GDP by 45% compared to 2005 levels and increase cumulative non-fossil fuel electricity supply to 50% of national installed capacity. It aims to achieve this by mandating the use of non-fossil fuels and establishing a Carbon Market. 

Strengthening compliance

As part of a push to support compliance with the new regulations, CRUX funding has enabled GBPN to collaborate with local partner Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) to develop an online ENS compliance platform. This will ensure that government policymakers and industry have the information at the fingertips to facilitate easy engagement with the changes.  

A further project led by GBPN partner Environmental Design Solutions (EDS) has engaged with housing developers to design building code compliant housing in the State of Gujarat. The project team, with the support of GBPN’s stakeholder coalition, has also developed a first-of-its-kind ENS implementation guide to support the implementation of the ENS in the state. 

With the national ENS mandate coming into force, and a recommitment to the PMAY-U, GBPN can now move to the next phase of providing direct technical assistance to the State Designated Authority and the city of Ahmedabad. The new mandate also provides the opportunity to engage other States to support implementation of the ENS, with some states already showing interest in GBPN’s work in India. 

This work anticipated the mandating of the ENS and shows GBPN is  now ready to support Indian state and local governments to implement the new laws.