Residential buildings in India: Energy use projections and savings potentials

Panel: 6. Policies and programmes towards a zero-energy building stock

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Yash Shukla, Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy (CARBSE), CEPT University, India
Rajan Rawal, Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy (CARBSE), India
Sophie Shnapp, Global Buildings Performance Network, France


As energy consumption from residential buildings is predicted to rise by more than eight times by 2050, it is of vital importance for India to develop energy-efficiency strategies focused on the residential sector to limit the current trend of unsustainable escalating energy demand. This study investigates impeded growth in energy consumption in the Indian residential sector and documents energy saving potentials that can be achieved with the focused policy and market efforts. The study specifically focuses on assessing the role of building envelopes in relation to comfort air conditioning systems and appliances in order to ensure energy efficient dwellings for urban and rural residential sectors. The study conducted a survey of 800 households, in four-climate zones of India, to map current equipment penetration rate and electricity consumption patterns. Key information including residential unit area, monthly energy consumption, connected load, number of appliances & their power rating, as well as operational patterns, has been gathered in a survey. Building energy modeling (using EnergyPlus) was then deployed to quantify comfort benefits and energy savings potentials of better performing building envelopes. The trends observed during survey and building energy modeling analysis, along with the information from past studies, have been used to derive residential electric energy projections till 2050. The projections in the study have been segregated by three end use segments (air conditioning, envelope, and equipment) for urban and rural residential sectors. Projection scenarios show that the electricity consumption will rise by more than eight times under the business-as-usual scenario. With the focused policy and market efforts, the electricity rise in residential sectors can be restricted to five times, four times, and three times that of current energy use under modest, aggressive, and very aggressive scenarios.


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