A basic requirement for implementing policies on the energy performance of buildings (such as the EU EPBD) is the existence of an agreed methodology to assess the global energy performance of a building. Through a mandate from the European Commission issued in 2004, several new standards for harmonised energy performance assessment were commissioned as well as an update of existing standards in some major fields. These standardisation committees within CEN were concerned:

  • CEN/BT Working Group 173 “Energy Performance of Buildings Project Group”
  • CEN/Technical Committee 89 “Thermal Performance of Buildings and Buildings Components” CEN/TC 110 “Heat Exchangers”
  • CEN/TC 113 “Heat-pumps and air-conditioners”
  • CEN/TC 156 “Ventilation for buildings”
  • CEN/TC 169 “Light and lighting”
  • CEN/TC 228 “Heating systems in buildings”
  • CEN/TC 247 “Controls for mechanical building services”

The standards are mostly worked out by 5 Technical Committees and the aim of WG 173 is to co-ordinate this work and give an overall view. Many of the standards deal with specific aspects of the global energy performance assessment: net energy use for heating and cooling, primary energy and CO2 emissions, ways of expressing energy requirements, boiler and air-conditioner inspections, etc.

The main issues for environmental NGOs are the ability of this legislation process to deliver stringent rules and accurate surveillance on the ground at national level, the introduction of the most sustainable and safe solutions to cut buildings energy consumption and the awareness raising of the general public and stakeholders on buildings improvement.

Therefore ECOS has sent experts to the CEN/BT Working Group 173 and the CEN/TC 89 committee since 2004. Their main tasks are to advocate for an accurate and ambitious timeline in implementation of the new standards, for a relevant coverage of the buildings components and good public information procedures.

Now that nearly all EPBD standards have been adopted, the ECOS expert will continue to follow-up the process in 2010, especially the revision of these standards in the context of the recast of the EPBD.

The CENSE project:

The CENSE project, funded by Intelligent Energy Europe programme, supports the EU Member States and other stakeholders to achieve better awareness and more effective use of the European standards related to the EPBD. These standards were successively published in the years 2007-2008 and are currently being implemented or planned to be implemented in many EU Member States. Sometimes “as such”, more often “in a practical way”.

The main activities in the project are:

  • To widely communicate the role, status and content of these standards; to provide guidance on the implementation.
  • To collect comments and good practice examples aiming to remove obstacles.
  • To prepare recommendations to CEN for a second generation of standards to calculate the energy performance of buildings.

The CENSE project shows the relevance and importance of internationally harmonized calculation procedures, good practice examples, but also the current obstacles and limitations. You are invited to give your feedback on the project website. Your suggestions and comments can help to make the difference!