Remarks by Ambassador Jonathan Addleton at the National Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)

Friday, May 27, 2016
Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power, and Ambassador Addleton at the event.
Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power, and Ambassador Addleton at the event.

(As prepared for delivery)

Namaste, Salaam, Good Morning: Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen -- I am delighted to be here today among this notable gathering of policymakers, architects, building developers, engineers, researchers, and academicians who have taken the time to participate in this workshop on India’s Energy Conservation Building Code Technical Update.  

Let me first extend my heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power; Mr. B.P Pandey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power and Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE); and Mr. Sanjay Seth, Acting Secretary, BEE, for partnering with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The United States and India have a long and successful strategic partnership in the energy sector. In 2009, our governments held a Strategic Dialogue focusing on five pillars including energy and climate change.

One of the most significant outcomes of this Dialogue is our Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, or the “PACE” initiative, launched by President Obama and former Prime Minister Singh in November 2009.  It remains the flagship program for clean energy between the United States and India.

PACE includes three components: research, deployment, and off-grid energy access. All of these initiatives combine the efforts of several U.S. and Indian agencies.

All of these components share a key theme:  BIJILEE BACHAIYIE, DESH BARDHAIYIE (Save electricity for a brighter and better India).

Under the deployment component of the PACE program, called PACE-D, USAID is the lead partner, supporting the Ministries of Power and of New and Renewable Energy to improve energy efficiency and increase the supply of renewable energy  in India.

Promoting energy efficiency and scaling up renewable energy requires an effective and supportive enabling environment.  To this end, USAID supports effective policy development and regulations; technological innovations; innovative financing mechanisms; and ensuring the availability of skilled human resources – be it for solar rooftops, green buildings, or a smart grid network.

USAID also supports the Ministry of Power and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency on a range of related initiatives including net zero energy buildings, efficient heating, ventilation for air conditioning systems, and the Energy Conservation Building Code, or ECBC.

Given the level of technical expertise in this room, I won’t go into detail regarding building statistics in India. However, I would like to highlight the fact that given both current and future energy needs, it is imperative for India to go beyond incremental reductions in energy consumption in buildings by applying energy codes and standards. The need of the hour is Net Zero Energy Buildings - buildings that can reduce their energy usage by leveraging energy efficiency and supporting broader integration of renewable energy.  At one point, buildings might have been the problem; now they can become the solution.

Energy efficiency in buildings has been on the agenda of successive U.S.-India energy programs since 2000. The Energy Conservation and Commercialization (ECO) bilateral program, started that year, was the first USAID program to focus on building energy efficiency in India.  The Bureau of Energy Efficiency was set up under the first phase of that program to implement the Energy Conservation Act 2001. India’s first energy conservation building code, the ECBC, was prepared during ECO II. The third and last phase of the program, ECO III, focused on the states of Punjab and Gujarat.

I am very pleased to see that the legacy of the U.S.-India Energy Conservation and Commercialization (ECO) bilateral program is being carried forward by the PACE-D Technical Assistance Program.  PACE-D provides technical assistance to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency to update the building energy code in response to changing market dynamics and advancements in technology. It is also supporting states such as Rajasthan and Haryana to implement efficient building codes.

Indeed, the mantra is:  VIDYAT KI BACHAT HI VIDYAT KA UTPADAN HAI (Every unit of power we save today will help us in ensuring a brighter and better India tomorrow).

State governments and urban local bodies play a key role, underscoring the need for states to develop specific rules and regulations to ensure compliance.  It is also important to build a competent body of professionals who can design, construct, and certify buildings, another area where the project is actively involved.

I also want to congratulate Government of India for undertaking the task of promoting net zero energy buildings. More and more people today are showing interest in living in an environmentally-responsible fashion. But this will only become widespread when the buildings industry accepts this as THE only way to build.  This is an area where India can lead the way:

BHARAT NE VISHWA KO SHUNYA (zero) DIYA THA, BHARATHI HI OOJRA DAKSHATA AUR AKSHAY OORJA EKEEKRAT BHAVANON KE NIRMAN MEIN VISHWA KA MARG DARSHAN KAREGA (India gave the number ‘zero’ to the world and India will also pave the way for future net zero energy buildings).

BHARAT KE IS PRAYAS MEIN HUM HAMESHA BHAGIDAR REHEIN GAY (We will always be a collaborator of India in this effort)

There is a need to bring the industry and government together to educate the public, and to drive the large-scale adoption of such buildings. To facilitate this, we have developed an NZEB knowledge portal, the details of which you will hear from my colleague Apurva Chaturvedi later in the day.

We are also in the process of establishing an NZEB Alliance that will facilitate industry collaboration. I encourage you all to visit the portal and to be a part of this alliance.

As I mentioned earlier, the PACE-D program has proposed new standards for energy efficiency and transition it towards a net zero energy building code in future. We have discussed these with experts across India through workshops in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Today, we are here in Delhi the capital city, to seek your inputs in order to finalize the code recommendations. Remember, what we agree to draft today will have a huge bearing on the India that will rise tomorrow.

Or, to put it another way:  VIDYUT BACHANE MEIN SEHYOG DIJIYIE, DESH KE VIKAS MEIN SEHBAGI BANIYIE (Partner in India’s growth story by saving precious resources like electricity).

Once again, I would like to thank the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Power and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, for their continued support and commitment to our partnership; and thanks, too, for everyone gathered here today:   CHALEIN SAATH SAATH, “Forward Together we Go”.

Issuing Country