In order to encourage construction of more "energy-efficient" buildings, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is planning a "voluntary labelling programme" for residential projects in the country.
"We will be suggesting the introduction of a voluntary labelling programme to the states very soon," said Bhaskar Sarma, while speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a national workshop hosted by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) for State Designated Agencies in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
"In the next 3-4 months, the country will see a fairly visible energy efficiency movement that will target households," said Sarma adding that the residential buildings needed to be brought into the "energy-conservation ambit" because of the high quantum of power used by consumers in this segment.
BEE has already developed a Star-rating rating programme for commercial buildings, which is based on the actual performance of a building in terms of its specific energy usage in Kwh/sqmtr/year. These labels indicate the energy efficiency levels through the number of 'Stars' highlighted in colour on the label. Such labelling is mandatory for air-conditioners, frost-free refrigerators and few other electrical products.
"The state governments will administer the scheme. It is ultimately the municipalities' baby. While they give approval to any building, they will also ensure that they are energy-efficient," the official said adding the municipalities will have to amend their building by-laws in the near future.
"We as BEE will tell the municipality how a building can become energy efficient," he said adding that the prime motive of such a label was to cut down on electricity bills clocked by houses across the country.
As far as Star-rating programme for commercial buildings is concerned, seven states including Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka, have made the programme mandatory, he added.