Energy code implemented in India
June 26, 2007
June 26, 2007
The Indian glazing community’s reaction to the implementation of the Energy Conservation Building Code is not clear yet. The code is the first of its kind in India. (See story in February issue of Glass Magazine). Indigenous glass shops such as GSC Toughened Glass Pvt. Ltd. in Greater Noida, and foreign companies such as Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd. in Sriperumbudur, declined to comment for this article.
“I'm in the process of obtaining feedback from the industry; so, after some time I'll be in better position to answer,” says K.K. Trivedi, secretary general, All India Flat Glass Manufacturers’ Association.
The Union Power Minister of Power, Sushil Kumar Shinde, formally launched the ECBC at a special function in New Delhi May 27. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which finalized the code, is responsible for planning and managing energy efficiency programs and activities in the country.
“Are all the technical specifications in the ECBC to the satisfaction of the glass industry? May be not,” says Satish Kumar, chief of party for India’s energy conservation program, International Resource Group, New Delhi. “However, instead of getting stuck on a number for SHGC [solar heat gain coefficient] and visual transmittance that will be acceptable to the industry, it should be realized that inclusion of aggressive technical specifications is an indication of the will of the government to make changes quickly. ECBC is likely to be in a voluntary mode for the next two to three years, which gives the glazing industry enough time to start gearing up for the mandatory phase of the ECBC.”
Any building code is unlikely to satisfy every stakeholder, but a fairly open and transparent process was followed during the ECBC development, resulting in a document that provides clear levels for compliance in unambiguous terms, Kumar says. “This kind of guidance was lacking and must be viewed as a positive step, because more often than not it is not the stringent levels of performance but the uncertainty surrounding the levels of performance that cause more damage to the industry,” he says.
“ECBC will be a benchmark for the construction industry to comply with,” says Ajay Mathur, director general, BEE. “This will hopefully provide the incentives to product manufacturers to bring quality products in the market place and generate much needed competition. … ECBC is creating a level playing field in the market place for the entry of high-performance building and construction products, which should bring in foreign direct investments in the manufacturing sector and generate quality jobs in the country.”
Window glass quality standards are likely to improve with the implementation of ECBC, says S. Padmanaban, energy adviser, USAID, India. “There is likely to be less of a trade-off between air-conditioning and indoor electric lighting through the design of improved glazing that avoids solar heat gain as well as glare. Markets for efficient windows such as double glazed windows and the like will increase.”
The code is a step in the right direction for India, says Bipin Shah, international coordinator, National Fenestration Rating Council, Silver Spring, Md. “The code will promote the use of advance glazing and wall insulation, much required in buildings in India. Glass manufacturers making low-e products will have reason to establish manufacturing facilities in India as these products will now be used to achieve energy efficiency.”
Read more specifics about the code and its implementation in next week’s e-glass weekly.
—By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine