Delhi Releases Draft Energy Conservation Building Code to Facilitate Rooftop Solar

The Delhi government has released its draft Delhi Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2018. The draft ECBC aims to create minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of commercial buildings in the national capital.

The draft code is open for comments and suggestions.

In the draft code, the government stresses the importance of installing renewable energy generation, mainly rooftop solar, on commercial buildings across the city.

The proposed code calls for all commercial buildings to adhere to the necessary provisions for the installation of renewable energy systems either on rooftops or elsewhere at the sites.


The code would apply to all commercial buildings that have a connected load of a minimum of 100 kW or have a contract demand of 120 kVA or more. Buildings intended only for private residential purposes would not fall under the purview of the code.

Key Highlights

  • A dedicated renewable energy generation zone would be provided in every building. This would be equivalent to at least 25 percent of the roof area or the area required for the generation of energy equivalent to 1 percent of total peak demand or the connected load of the building, whichever is less.
  • Renewable energy and solar generation zones would be free of any obstructions within their boundaries and from shadows cast by objects adjacent to them.
  • For ECBC+ buildings, the renewable energy generated would have to be at least 2 percent of the total electrical load of the building.
  • For ECBC+ star hotels with a built up area (BUA) of more than 20,000 m², resorts with a BUA greater than 12,500 m², universities with a BUA above 20,000 m², and businesses with a BUA greater than 20,000 m²; the renewable energy generated would have to be 3 percent of the total electrical load of the building.
  • For SuperECBC buildings, the renewable energy generated would have to be at least 4 percent of the total electrical load of the building.
  • For SuperECBC star hotels with a BUA greater than 20,000 m², resorts with a BUA greater than 12,500 m², universities with a BUA above 20,000 m², and businesses with a BUA greater than 20,000 m²; the renewable energy generated would have to be equal to 6 percent of the total electrical load of the building.
  • The installation of electrical vehicle (EV) charging equipment in 2 percent of all the parking spaces used by the project would be mandatory. A minimum of one EV charging station would be compulsory for every project.

In cases where a dedicated renewable energy generation zone is not available due to an obstruction, the roofs would have to be either a cool roof or a vegetated roof. The compliance of ECBC+ and SuperECBC buildings would be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.

In June 2017, ECBC 2017 was launched by previous Minister of Power Piyush Goyal with the aim of achieving a 30-50 percent reduction in energy use by the year 2030.

“This draft, if it becomes policy, would be a positive one for Delhi which suffers from constant and debilitating air pollution. Many commercial buildings currently are not suitable for rooftop solar installations due to the location, shade, space availability and strength of the buildings, among other reasons. An improved building code could facilitate more solar rooftop installations in the future and consequently help alleviate Delhi’s pollution problems,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “If planned and executed well, similar building codes could be adopted all over India to facilitate rooftop solar.”