Posted: 5 September 2018
Posted: 5 September 2018
Sylvania looks at the continuing emergence of energy efficiency legislation for buildings
How energy efficient is your building? Are you confident that you fully comply with the relevant European directives? Are you also aware that around 50% of lighting is thought to be highly inefficient? The energy performance of buildings continues to be a key part of environmental legislation within Europe, and both the 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive have become familiar to anyone concerned with the improvement of the energy performance of buildings across the EU.
But don’t be misled by the dates of these directives, while they have been around for over a decade including development and consultation periods, they are continually being updated to reflect advances in materials and technology. April 2018 saw the latest round of revisions to the Energy Performance of Buildings directive adopted by the European Parliament and with it, new rules to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient. These include measures to help establish low and zero-emission building stock by 2050, as well as ones that recognise advances in smart technology to help buildings operate efficiently through the use of automation and control systems. The continuing emergence of updates to these landmark directives indicate just how important the debate around building efficiency is. They also indicate the need to keep up-to-date with changes in regulation to ensure your built environment remains compliant with any new standards.
Whether it’s a new build or renovation project, the inclusion of measures to demonstrate energy efficiency is a given. Regulations may differ slightly with local implementation, such as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the UK, which must be met before landlords can let a building. However, the trend towards improving building efficiency is only going in one direction across Europe. Attitude towards the evolving directives is crucial. These standards shouldn’t be seen as a burden, but as a way to review efficiencies and identify areas where further optimisation can be achieved.
Lighting is one area that is ripe for efficiency gains. Typically accounting for around 30% of overall energy consumption, lighting is a fundamental pathway to improving overall building performance. From simple measures such as switching to LEDs and adopting smart-enabled technologies that provide occupancy-only driven lighting, to remote-automated monitoring and self-commissioning intelligent building control, advances in lighting capability are delivering real efficiency gains.
Alongside its positive contribution towards improving overall building efficiency, energy efficient lighting also has a cost benefit. For example, using occupancy sensors has been shown to reduce electricity use by 30%, and with LED systems requiring minimal maintenance, there are further savings to be made in other areas too.
The European Union’s own research indicates that 75% of buildings are inefficient. This indicates the genuine need to update and renovate existing buildings in order to realise the efficiency gains that can be secured through upgrading infrastructure areas such as lighting.
To read more about ensuring compliance through high performance lighting download our eBook, ‘Introducing your New Operational Officer’