The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) launched the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) - a 20-year roadmap to address cooling requirements in building, cold chain, transport and refrigeration sectors - in March 2019. While the plan mostly reinforces energy efficiency and climate targets already set by different sectors and ministries, it is unique in its pioneering attempt to develop adaptive thermal comfort standards for buildings to reduce energy guzzling. However, this revolutionary idea has gone almost unnoticed.
So far energy efficiency policies for the building sector have focused largely making cooling and heating technologies more efficient energy-wise. But an adaptive thermal comfort standard can go much beyond this, opening up new opportunities that, while improving energy efficiency, improve thermal comfort as well.