Energy efficiency in the building sector
The building sector accounts for around 40% of the total energy consumption, so energy efficiency of buildings, which means providing minimum energy consumption in order to achieve the optimum comfort of living and use of the building, is very important. Energy consumption of a building depends on its characteristics (shape and structural materials), installed energy systems (heating system, cooling system, ventilation, electrical devices and lighting used), as well as climatic conditions of the region where it is located.
In general, buildings in Croatia were built before 1987 and as such they do not have adequate thermal protection. As many as 83% of the buildings do not satisfy even the 1987 technical regulations, they have high heat losses with the average energy consumption ranging from 150 to 200 kWh/m2, which classifies them in energy efficiency class E! Increased energy consumption implies higher emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere and it is, therefore, essential to implement the required measures in order to reduce excessive consumption and streamline the utilisation of available energy generating products.
Energy performance of buildings comprises a number of different options for saving thermal energy and electricity, with more rational use of fossil fuels and application of renewable energy sources (RES) in buildings, wherever it is functionally feasible and economically justified. Thermal protection of buildings is one of the key aspects because of its high energy savings potential. By improving thermal insulation of the building, it is possible to reduce the total heat losses of the building from 30% to 60% on average.
Energy efficiency measures in the building sector:
- Energy audit of the building and energy performance certificate (EPC) which shows the energy efficiency class of the whole building or part of the building;
- Increasing thermal protection of the building (installing heat insulation and energy efficient windows and doors);
- Increasing performance of the heating, cooling and ventilation systems;
- Increasing performance of the lighting systems and electrical equipment;
- Use of renewable energy sources.
The implementation of the measures for increasing energy efficiency in the building sector will result in lower energy consumption of the building and, at the same time, better comfort of living and performance of the building. The preference of measures depends on the energy performance and type of building, its purpose and location, and the best option would be to implement several measures ensuring their synergistic effect and to achieve more notable energy savings.
The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund is implementing energy retrofit programmes that were adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and it is co-financing energy efficiency measures in buildings, with a view to reducing the consumption of energy at national level and reducing CO2 emissions.
Building retrofit (renovation) programmes were adopted for different types of buildings, and they are implemented accordingly:
- Programme of energy renovation of family houses
- Programme of energy renovation of multi-residential buildings
- Programme of energy renovation of non-residential commercial buildings
- Programmes of energy renovation of public buildings
Measures aimed to achieve energy savings in households represent one of significant guidelines of both European and Croatian energy policy, in accordance with the Energy Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia, and the current Third National Energy Efficiency Action Plan.