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Heat insulation in buildings is a major challenge for state. To keep this process moving forward rapidly, has developed a new draft law on energy performance of buildings in late May was referred to the parliamentary committees.

According to Central Statistical Bureau, 2009, at the end of Latvian was established more than 50 thousand dwellings. Although many houses over the years, energy consumption is reduced, overall it is still quite high, ranging around 200 kWh / m². Similar problems are observed in public sector buildings. Homes while the renovations and new projects, the figures are considerably lower – according to 60 kWh / m² and 45 kWh / m².

Objectives proposed by the European Union

Energy efficiency can be defined as the heat loss reduction package, which also saves the costs of home maintenance. As is well known, household energy, especially in our latitudes, mainly used for heating and domestic hot water. Reducing energy consumption also reduces carbon dioxide emissions, which are important for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

To promote the rational use of energy, the European Parliament (EP) and Council of May 19, 2010 adopted a Directive 2010/31/EU on buildings. This document replaces the eponymous EP and Council Directive 2002/91/EC of 16 December 2002. The new Directive on energy performance of buildings is one of the tools to implement the European Union’s targets for energy efficiency.

The proportion of energy consumption in buildings accounts for 40% of the Latvian overall energy balance and are a burden to both consumers and the economy as a whole, because two-thirds of energy is imported. At the same time the building sector, as shown by practice, can achieve large energy savings. For example, during the Soviet era mass builder for the renovation of apartment buildings can save 30 to 70% energy.

The new, revised EU Directive 2010/31/EU outlines a number of important changes:

  • it strengthened the provisions on energy performance certificates, clarifying the requirements for certification and parts of buildings;
  • Inspection of boilers replaced with a heating system inspection also identified the requirement to document the heating and air conditioning systems;
  • requires Member States to provide citizens with information about opportunities for improving energy efficiency in buildings;
  • requires the introduction of independent energy certification of buildings, heating and air conditioning systems in the control system;
  • defines the procedure for building the minimum energy efficiency requirements of the Member States;
  • raised at the national level to support the buildings in the market with low or zero energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

“These and several other EU guidelines was one of the main reasons why the Ministry of Economy (MoE) developed a new Energy Performance of Buildings Act, which will be of the same name instead of the law. Have changed the requirements for construction works, because our life has entered the new materials and technologies,” explains Ministry of Construction and Housing Policy Department of the Housing Policy Department Martin Auders.

Here it should be noted that the Directive 2010/31/EU states: minimum energy performance requirements should be reviewed at least every five years and, if necessary, updated to take account of technological developments in the construction industry.

Currently, the Latvian State Real Estate Cadastre Information System (IS RESC) has registered 1.35 million. buildings, including various types of auxiliary buildings with a total area of ​​198 million. square meters. Of the total number of buildings in the bill will affect approximately 400 thousand. buildings, including apartment buildings, where energy is used to provide indoor climate requirements.

The focus – energy certification of buildings

The new Energy Performance of Buildings Act of May 31 has been referred to the parliamentary commission, will replace four years ago adopted the same name as the law is based on maintaining the existing framework, but the addition of a revised directive on the energy innovations.

Overall, the law is to promote the rational use of energy by informing the public about the building’s energy consumption, and improving building insulation.

One of the Energy Performance of Buildings Law, the most important tasks is to ensure the energy certification of buildings that should be handled in the following cases:

  • be designed, reconstructed or renovējamai building for acceptance of service or sale;
  • an operational building, to be sold, rented or leased;
  • an operational state or municipal public building, the heated area of ​​over 500 m2 (from July 9, 2015 – 250 m2).

Building energy certification of the new law within the meaning of the process of setting in operation of a building or part of its energy efficiency and building energy performance certificates issued or shall be designed, reconstructed or renovējamas building or part of the planned energy efficiency and energy performance certificates issued temporary.

In addition, building energy certification shall be subject to building energy performance assessment, which takes into account the specific Thermal performance of buildings, used for building engineering systems, orientation of the external conditions and internal microclimate.
Energy certification will also be part of the building in operation, the heated area of ​​over 50m2, to be sold, rented or leased, if this part of the building is a single energy or thermal energy. However, to sell, rent or lease in operation part of the building without individual energy or thermal energy, these parts of the building energy certification will be required.

The project also provides the building energy performance certificates and energy performance certificates to be included in the temporary data and its validity.

Apartment buildings in which apartments have a common heating system, energy certificate must be issued before 31 December 2015, for Bill.

To carry out inspections

The draft law provides that the energy certification of buildings, heating and air conditioning systems are carried to the right person who is competent – independent experts.

Competency requirements and certification procedures by independent experts, their registration and supervision of the independent expert registry data content and use of the Cabinet.

According to the Ministry the list of auditors maintained by certified energy audits are eligible for 95 auditors. However, it is estimated that this field work to find other specialists.

While the heating and air conditioning systems are permitted 980 professionals in laws and regulations of certified heating and ventilation system in the construction (design or construction management and construction supervision) in the field. So here the competition is very high.

The bill the heating and air conditioning systems shall be carried out exploiting building energy or time on a voluntary basis. Regular inspection of heating and air conditioning maintenance and inspection by qualified personnel contributes to maintaining their correct adjustment in accordance with the specification and thus ensure optimal performance from an environmental, safety and energy point of view.

The building owner’s responsibilities

“To make it easier to understand the bill, it includes a number of nuances that previously included in the Cabinet of Ministers (CM) codes. For example, in a separate article now sets the owner responsibilities, which until now has been able to judge from the previous law context,” says ME Housing Policy Division Senior Amber Grasmanis.

According to the bill the building owner must provide the projected buildings, operational buildings, or parts of the building energy certification, heating or air conditioning systems and their compliance with the minimum energy performance requirements.

These requirements are specified in the construction sector in several laws. For example, building on the external building components – Nr.495 Cabinet Regulation “On the Latvian Building Code LBN 002-01″ Building envelope thermal engineering “” technical building systems – Nr.534 Cabinet Regulation “On the Latvian Building Code LBN 231-03″ residential and public buildings, heating and ventilation “.”
The bill also appears in a new condition. The advertisement on the building or part of the sale, rental or leasing of the building owner will continue to be a building or part of the energy efficiency indicators, as provided by law in cases where the building should be energy certification.

“This is a prospective buyer or tenant of the building to the conclusion that the building consumes much or as little energy. So he will have some idea about the impending charges,” informs Dz.Grasmanis. “If the house is owned by the state or local government, energy certificate or temporary building energy certificate must be placed in a visible place for visitors.”

It is envisaged that the new Energy Performance of Buildings Act come into force on January 9, 2013. Until then, the government has adopted a number of regulations binding.