According to the new EU directive on the energy performance of buildings, which comes into force in 2021, modern energy-efficient homes must consume as much energy as they produce.
Countries in Western Europe, Germany in particular, are building entire experimental settlements, which, thanks to the use of energy-efficient materials and quality components and their balanced combination, already meet the standards of the future today. Last November, the company ECOPAN announced its entry into the European market and the start of construction of several objects in Germany and Austria. During this period we have gained certain experience in the application of energy-efficient technologies in Europe and we want to share it with our readers. So, let’s see how energy efficiency in the European way differs from the domestic one.
European standards of energy efficiency, as well as Ukrainian standards, are based on energy efficiency classes. Let us remind you that according to the Directive on Energy Efficiency Labeling No. 2010/30/EC of 2010, energy efficiency is marked by classes from A to G. Class A has the lowest energy use; G is the least efficient.
“We build houses in class A+ and A. This means that the energy consumption in a house in category A+ for heating or cooling should not exceed 25 kWh(m2) per year. Germans are very sensitive to the cost of energy, as their cost is very high and several times higher than the cost of similar energy in Ukraine”, – says Alexander Shchutsky, founder of the company ECOPAN.
According to calculations of specialists in the field of energy-efficient construction, the cost of a house in class A+ may be up to 40% higher compared to, for example, B. But the Germans perceive this difference in cost very calmly, as they consider it an investment, not just a cost. The issue of the permanent increase in energy costs is also relevant for prosperous Germany.
“It’s no secret that almost all private residential buildings in Germany are built with credit money. And we all know that the cost of credit compared to the conditions in Ukraine is much lower. But even we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that our client got a bank loan at 0.75% per annum because his house will be of energy efficiency class A+ after it is commissioned”, – Alexander Shchutsky shares his observations. For comparison, the cost of credit for the construction of a house of class A is higher but still does not exceed 2.5% per annum. Also, almost all newly built houses are equipped with heat pumps, forced ventilation with heat recovery, and solar panels.
All of this is part of the German government’s overall plan to conserve natural resources and the environment. Cheap loans for the construction of energy-efficient buildings will make it possible to significantly reduce energy consumption in the future, which in turn will reduce the burden on the environment and conserve the country’s natural resources. We very much hope that the European benchmarks of the government of Ukraine will soon be reflected in practical actions and in the issues of reducing energy consumption.