An international appetite for Energy Efficiency regulation

From Electrical Installation Guide
HomeEnergy Efficiency in electrical distributionEnergy efficiency and electricityAn international appetite for Energy Efficiency regulation

As shown in Figure K1, Energy Efficiency in Buildings can be the result of:

  • Regulatory measures, with the evolution of regulations and directives (and of the related standards) which can be issued at national or international levels
  • or voluntary approach, with Green Building certification systems such as Leed, Breeam, etc … Promoters, building owners, occupiers etc may decide to have their building certified to help adopt sustainable solutions, and to obtain market recognition of their achievements.
Fig. K1 – Regulatory vs voluntary approach to Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Energy Efficiency regulations in Europe

Europe has issued 2 directives which emphasize the need for improvement in Energy Efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain from its production to its final consumption.

In particular, any company with more than 250 employees has either to perform regularly an Energy Audit, or has to put in place a permanently installed Energy Management System, as described in Figure K2.

The directive requirements are minimum requirements and shall not prevent any member state from maintaining or introducing more stringent measures.

Fig. K2 – Consistency between European regulations (in green) and standards (in grey)

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

This directive came into force on 4 January 2006, and lays down Energy performance requirements such as:

  • All new buildings should be Near Zero energy by 31 Dec 2020
  • Energy performance certificates are to be included in all advertisements for the sale or rental of buildings
  • EU countries must establish inspection schemes for heating and air conditioning systems or put in place measures with equivalent effect
  • EU countries must set minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings, for the major renovation of buildings and for the replacement or retrofit of building elements (heating and cooling systems, roofs, walls, etc.).

EN 15232 standard applies for Building Management Systems (BMS) and Building Automation & Control Systems (BACS).

Examples of green building certification systems

Many countries have issued green building certifications systems, some of them are listed as examples in Figure K3:

Fig. K3 – Examples of building certification systems
Green building certification Influence First version release year
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) USA 2009
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) UK 2008
NF HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) FRANCE 2009
CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency) JAPAN 2004
DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) GERMANY 2009