Energy efficiency – fashion or necessity?


At present in Ukraine, we are witnessing a boom in energy efficiency. Following Europe, such concepts as energy saving, energy consumption, energy audit, and others have entered the everyday life of Ukrainians. Let’s see if it is related only to tariff hikes in housing and communal services or the issue is much bigger?

 

A study conducted by European scientists and economists in 2000 showed that by 2030, the dependence of the European Union on energy imports would reach 70%. At present, the figure does not exceed 50%. This fact became a kind of catalyst for the European Parliament and the EU Council to adopt the so-called “Green Declaration”.

 

The countries of the European Union began to think about reducing energy consumption back in the ’90s. The first international document regulating the energy efficiency of residential buildings was the European Union Directive SAVE adopted in 1993. The document provided some measures, in particular the development of energy passports for buildings, energy audits, and energy efficiency, subsidizing at the state level the costs aimed at saving energy.

 

The next Directive 2002/91/EC, known under the common name EPBD, came into force on 1 January 2003 and toughened the requirements for energy and resources saving. The document fixes a methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings, according to which all factors that could influence the result are analyzed. The requirements were further tightened in November 2008. Today in many European countries information about the energy efficiency class of a building is displayed on its facade and significantly affects its cost.

 

There are seven energy efficiency classes from A to G. Each has its energy class. The A-class has the lowest energy consumption. It is usually less than half of the normative energy consumption, while Class C has an energy consumption at the normative level. The remaining classes D, E, F, and G are characterized by energy consumption in increasing degrees above the normative. This general approach has several features related to the purpose of the buildings: residential or public buildings, the number of floors, the climate zone.

 

The European Union countries set ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption. For example, Denmark plans to reduce it by 75% by 2020. The Netherlands, Germany, and Norway will build passive houses, which are heated from domestic resources. The UK and Hungary – buildings that do not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. And France relies on houses that generate rather than consume energy.

 

Given the European demand for energy-efficient housing, the company ECOPAN not only offers but is already implementing several projects for energy-efficient buildings in Austria and Germany.

 

In the following articles, we will share with our readers our observations on the peculiarities of the implementation of such projects.

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