LEDs have been positioned as the future of the lighting industry for quite some time now. But due to the high costs and limited consumer awareness, the Led industry so far has managed to grab just a small mouthful of the Indian lighting industry. But the ECBC norms, if leveraged properly could give it a glimmer of hope.
The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was formally launched by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, and Government of India in the year 2007. The code defines norms and standards, for the energy performance of buildings and their components based on the climate zone in which they are located.
It was launched for voluntary adoption but many state governments have made it mandatory for all new constructions, especially commercial building space. Commercial buildings are the third largest consumers of energy in the country, after industry and agriculture. Buildings annually consume more than 20% of the electricity used in India. The potential for energy savings is 40 – 50% in buildings, if energy efficiency measures are incorporated at the design stage. For existing buildings, the potential can be as high as 20-25% which can be achieved by implementing housekeeping and retrofitting measures. The incremental cost incurred for achieving energy efficiency is 5-8% vis-à-vis conventional design cost and can have an attractive payback period of 2-4 years.
Keeping all this in mind, the ECBC laid down some mandatory requirements for interior and exterior lighting of the building spaces. The new norms will clearly benefit low energy devices, particularly LED lighting solutions. For example, all the point light sources installed in the building for general lighting will need to have a minimum lamp efficacy of 50 lm/W. Also ECBC recommends products with less power consumption where LEDs are again at a clear advantage when compared to other lighting sources. All in all, LEDs fulfill all the requirements laid down by ECBC. This is very good news for the manufacturers of LEDs. The construction industry in India is growing by 10% when compared to the world average of 5.2%. The manufacturers and promoters of LEDs should target their sales in all those states where ECBC has been made mandatory.
Even if 50% of all the newly constructed buildings comply with ECBC, the LED sales will grow manifold in the coming years. The manufacturers of LEDs should keep this in mind and start using ECBC as a marketing trump card!