Energy Conservation – a phrase which has been used rather often in recent times. With initiatives such as the SAVE Program of the European Union, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India, Japan’s Energy Conservation Centre, to name a few, the first steps towards saving energy have been taken. Despite these steps, however, energy conservation remains a key focus area worldwide, and the amount one can do to save energy, it seems, will never be enough.
India’s building sector is growing at a rapid pace and after the industrial and agricultural sectors; it is the third largest consumer of energy in the country. National estimates show that the building energy use in India is increasing by over 9% annually, which greatly surpasses the national energy growth rate of 4.3%. It is projected that the commercial building sector alone will grow at 7% annually up to the year 2030 in India. Currently, India has only 200 million square meters of installed base, but, by 2030, it is expected that 8,690 million square meters of additional commercial space will be constructed. This trend has already begun to strain the power sector with energy shortages of over 11.3% in peak demand and a 7% supply deficit leading to power cuts and rolling blackouts that are endemic to most cities and towns of the country.
India started the green building movement in the year 2003 with a modest beginning of 20,000 sq. ft green built-up area which, by 2011 reached about 1 billion sq. ft built-up area with more than 1400 registered green building projects. Additionally, India has already launched (voluntary mode) its own EnergyConservationBuildingCode (ECBC) in 2007. The purpose of this code is to set the minimum energy efficiency standards for non-residential buildings.
Seeing potential in this space, GreenTree Building Energy was launched to help design smarter and greener buildings. It’s a 3 yr old company which provides consulting and advisory services to architectural firms and builders to help them build energy efficient green buildings as per industry norms. “By complying with these norms, we are able to achieve 25-30% energy savings with a mere cost increase of 8%. The break-even is achieved in less than 2-3 yrs and returns in the form of savings can be realized thereafter,” says Co-founder Anurag Bajpai. Owing this plunge into entrepreneurship to a desire to tread off the beaten path, Anurag wanted to make a meaningful yet powerful difference to the society.
GreenTree started their work with a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and Government of India collaborated project, ECOnirman. From there, they have moved on to working on more than 30 projects comprising of the public sector, private sector and international clients; Fortis Healthcare, BHEL, BPCL, Sulekha.com, Jones Lang LaSalle, etc. to name a few. They have also assisted in the implementation and policy development of ECBC in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“We are the only company providing comprehensive solutions in the field of building energy efficiency – Research & Policy Support to Government and International Agencies, Green Building Advisory Services, Architecture and Façade design, Energy and Lighting Simulation, Energy Efficiency Solutions, Energy Code Compliance & Benchmarking tool development, and Training & Workshops,” says Anurag.
Both the founders of GreenTree are first generation entrepreneurs. Dhruv Jain is a management graduate from IIM-A and heads the Commercial and Business development division in the company. His experience in the energy sector includes stints with companies like Siemens Power (Gurgaon), USAID ECO-III project (New Delhi) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP, Vienna). Anurag is a graduate from IIT Roorkee and heads the Operations & Innovations Division in the company. His previous work assignments involve working with Siemens Power Engineering Limited (SPEL) in the field of power plant engineering services and USAID ECO-III project in the field of ECBC implementation and Educational Curriculum Enhancement program. Dhruv and Anurag were assisted by Mr. Ravi Subramanian (an alumnus of IIM-A) and Vishrut Kumar Singh (an alumnus of IIT-R). The entire team of GreenTree is currently 15 people strong.
“The mandatory implementation of this code would certainly bring a movement for development of energy efficient and sustainable buildings in India. We see ourselves as leading providers of all kinds of services related to building energy efficiency and thus be a one stop shop for customers. We are already a prominent force, and see ourselves amongst the top 2 players in the region, in the next 3 years,” says Anurag.
Currently operating out of Indirapuram (Ghaziabad), GreenTree plans to expand to markets with, they say, high quality real estate activity, namely Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Mumbai in the next 2 years.
To know more about GreenTree, visit their website, here.