You are here

Assessing Clean Energy Opportunities Through Demand Aggregation in Bengaluru’s Apartment Buildings

India has ambitious renewable energy targets, a portion of which must be met through rooftop solar in residential buildings. Major Indian cities are seeing a trend towards gated apartment buildings (or apartment complexes). In these buildings, apartment residents share common areas that provide communal amenities. As such, the energy used in common areas is the aggregate use from all residents for the services.

This working paper co-authored by WRI India and TIDE describes the findings from examining demand aggregation potential in ten apartment complexes in Bengaluru. We define demand aggregation as the act of grouping together multiple residents in an apartment complex as a single consumer of the services provided in a common area. The study found that there was significant potential to save energy in common services in apartment buildings and use solar energy to meet most needs. Apartment Owners Associations (AOAs) that manage common services can be the anchors for implementing these clean energy measures in apartment complexes.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

  • Buildings and construction sector are one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, and residential buildings alone account for 22 percent of global energy use and 17 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (IEA and UNEP 2018). Cities cannot take serious action on climate without prioritizing residential buildings. The combination of energy efficiency (EE) measures and on- or offsite renewable energy (RE) is a powerful tool for tackling building-related emissions.
  • In India, the information technology hub of Bengaluru has experienced rapid inward migration from highly skilled Indian professionals. Apartment buildings are quickly emerging as housing choices in this land-constrained city. To meet the service expectations of people and to offer increasingly attractive housing options, developers are providing water, power, safety, and exclusive access to premium amenities through private gated residential apartment complexes. There are significant energy-consumption implications built into the provision and maintenance of these common area facilities by apartment complexes.
  • The apartment owners associations (AOA), as a single collective group of residents in each complex, makes decisions on the management of common area facilities. Engaging with AOAs alone may ensure efficiency in services and on-site rooftop solar (RTS) wherever feasible, to meet energy needs. We consider apartment complexes as natural aggregators of energy demand and AOAs as potential partners to accelerate clean energy interventions in apartment complexes.
  • We engaged with 10 apartment complexes in Bengaluru to assess their common area energy use to identify potential EE measures and the feasibility of RTS in the complexes. Post-assessment, we were able to recommend implementation of clean energy interventions to the complexes
  • While apartment complexes showed an interest in undertaking the recommended interventions, we found that there were institutional, management, and policy barriers to the adoption of these interventions
  • Using demand aggregation as a mechanism to promote clean energy pathways for residential apartment complexes will necessitate finding methods to overcome these barriers.

Stay Connected