Upcoming seminar

December 15, 2011

REHVA seminar about policy development on energy efficiency in buildings

REHVA Technical Seminar, October 28, 2011, Brussels, Belgium

In Brussels, October 28, 2011, information on the energy efficiency in buildings in the European Union (EU) was presented by Michaela Holl from the European Commission, DG Energy. The recast of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is not to compare the Member States, but rather to establish the cost-optimal benchmarking for each Member State (MS) using calculation and evaluation of the current requirements of individual Member States. In the EPBD, the term of a nearly zero energy building is set as “a building with a very high energy performance… and a very significant share of renewables”. Cost-optimal framework is based on net present value for the cost calculation (derived from EN 15459) and related CEN standards for calculations of energy demands with some flexibility to use national energy performance standards. Interestingly, the quick application of cost optimality in practise shows that it can work, but it is an iterative process based on revisiting of input data / reference buildings / defined measures.

The new Energy Efficiency Directive in buildings (EED), which is on the top of EPBD, calls for more stringent criteria in the EU and suggests that the annual renovation works must cover at least 3% of the floor area for public buildings. This doubles the current rate in the EU! In the future, the consumer will have individual metering for better energy management. Large companies have obligations to undergo zero energy audits and help small companies with the process. There are also policy concepts on energy efficiency obligation, energy generation and transmission along with distribution. The new EED uses several measures to achieve the objectives, such as promotion of EED, energy monitoring & reporting and influencing all relevant sectors such as public, households, services, energy supply and industry.

Upcoming Energy Roadmap 2050 aims to reduce emissions by 90% by 2050, which would lead to decarbonising / reducing the EU´s energy by 80% compared to 1990s levels. The current adopted policies would only take us down to 40%, thus, to achieve the main goal, the focus is on energy mainly in these sectors: power, non-residential and transport. There were some issues raised regarding the expected growth in energy prices, one option could be the electrification of heating and transport, among many others.

Future work focuses on a voluntary EU certification scheme of non-residential buildings and the use of the label “best in class” which goes hand in hand with the idea of highly efficient buildings, e.g. nZEB and netZEB. This label would be based on common EU calculation methods developed with the help of national calculation methods in the EU and based on CEN standards. Comparative factors should be the primary energy use. Offices are also on target with the newly prepared voluntary Eco-label for office buildings in 2012!