Transforming the Building Energy Efficiency Market in India: Lessons from the USA

Prasad Vaidya, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Alecia Ward, Reshmi Vasudevan, Koshy Cherail | 2010


With recent economic expansion, construction investment growth in India is forecasted at 12% overall and 23% in the commercial sector. India will add 80% of the total floor space estimated for 2030. Without a concerted effort to reduce energy intensity in buildings, the additional demand for electricity will exacerbate the chronic power shortage situation in India. Indian policymakers have started a three-pronged approach to market transformation, i.e. rating systems to recognize leaders, financial incentive programs to move the middle of the market, and codes and standards to raise the entire market to desired efficiency levels. In this paper, we provide an overview of the status of these activities and the infrastructure for setup, scaling and compliance for each market transformation approach. We juxtapose the situation in India with the history in the USA. We provide summary statistics for key industry metrics such as energy cost, construction cost, and so forth. Recognizing the challenges in India and using lessons learned from USA experience, we present recommendations for Indian policymakers to enable rapid market transformation in the building energy efficiency sector.