The European Commission is referring Belgium and Finland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
The directive which had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012, requires member states to establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for all buildings, ensures the certification of buildings' energy performance and requires the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the directive wants Member States to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings are so-called nearly zero-energy buildings.
"Energy efficiency is vital for keeping our energy costs in check and mitigating climate change. Using less energy is paramount for ensuring security of supply in Europe. It is essential that all Member States put in place the legislation necessary to speed up energy efficiency measures. 40% of EU energy consumption is in the buildings' sector and it is here where the most energy can be saved", said Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner.
Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2010/31/EU) consumers and citizens have the right to be informed about the energy performance of the building they intend to buy, rent or construct and the right to be properly advised on cost-effective ways to improve the energy performance of the building.
The Commission proposes a daily penalty of 19 178, 25 € against Finland and 42 178, 50 € against Belgium. The level of this penalty is set taking into account the duration and the severity of the infringement. In case of an affirmative judgment of the Court, the daily penalty is to be paid from the date of the judgment until the transposition is complete. The Court will decide the final amount of the daily penalty.
The Commission is currently also examining the situation in other Member States (United Kingdom, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, the Netherlands, Malta, Latvia, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Czech Republic and Austria) to which reasoned opinions for incomplete transposition have been addressed.
The EU’s target is a 20% cut in Europe's annual primary energy consumption by 2020. Buildings account for more than one third of its CO2-emissions and about 40% of the EU's total final energy consumption.
By appropriately transposing and implementing the legislation on energy efficiency in buildings, EU Member States can achieve a substantial amount of cost effective energy savings and avoid associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, if Member States fail to transpose EU legislation into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions when referring the case to court.
The daily penalty payment is calculated based on a formula, where the following elements are multiplied:
· seriousness factor
· length of the infringement
· "n" factor (which varies between Member States and takes into account their GDP)
· flat-rate amount, which currently is set at €650 per day.
ASHRAE has released the newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
The new edition includes procedures for calculating site and source energy, but a number of decisions are left to adopters, including what should be calculated beyond site energy and the multipliers for those calculations. The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, supports commonality in reporting the energy performance of existing or proposed buildings to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
When it comes to the how-to of measuring a building’s energy use, there is much to take into consideration. Are the measurements of a building’s area—used in the equation to derive energy use per square foot—to be taken from the exterior dimensions or to the centerline of the wall? Since they are normally unoccupied, are storage spaces to be included or not?
Keith Emerson, Chair of the Standard 105 committee, said:
“A standard method of measurement is needed in order to be able to compare one building's energy use to another. For instance, comparing one building's summer energy use to another building's winter use would be comparing apples and oranges.”
It also provides a common basis for reporting building energy use in terms of delivered energy forms and expressions of energy performance; for comparing design options; and for comparing energy performance in terms of energy resources used and greenhouse gas emissions created, both across buildings and for energy efficiency measures within buildings.
“To keep the standard flexible, a number of decisions are left to those who adopt it, including what should be calculated beyond site energy and the multipliers for those additional calculations,” Emerson said.
Primary energy and greenhouse gas equivalence conversion factors have been left to the discretion of the adopting agencies and authorities, which are available from a number of sources, including an informative appendix in the standard. The standard has also been upgraded to code enforceable language.
The cost of Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, is $58 ($48 ASHRAE members). To order, visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore .
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a non profit building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.
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