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UNECE supports countries to address gaps in energy efficiency standards in buildings

UNECE supports countries to address gaps in energy efficiency standards in buildings

Moldova buildings

Buildings consume over 70 per cent of the electrical power generated and 40 per cent of primary energy and are responsible for 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from related fuel combustion. At the same time, in 2018, out of 4.5 trillion USD spent on building construction and renovation, the total amount spent on energy efficiency in buildings counted for USD 139 billion. During the last five years, the energy efficiency improvement rate slowed down, and the investment trend mirrored that situation.  

To address this situation, UNECE and UNDP Country Office in Moldova jointly organized online Workshop on Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings and their Implementation in the UNECE Region on 9 April. The workshop aimed to enhance national capacities to develop and implement energy efficiency standards in buildings through encouraging participatory planning and partnerships of all involved stakeholders. 

UNECE is implementing the project Enhancing National Capacities to Develop and Implement Energy Efficiency Standards for Buildings in the UNECE Region. An important goal of the project is to improve the overall performance of buildings, leading among other benefits to reduced energy consumption. The project derives from UNECE’s work on best policy practices for energy efficiency 

During the workshop UNECE presented the findings and recommendations of a draft study on gap analysis between the performance objectives set forth in the Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings and current energy efficiency standards and their implementation in the countries of South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in the Russian Federation. The gap analysis study reviewed (i) the existing energy efficiency policies, such as framework legislation to develop and implement energy efficiency standards in buildings with emphasis on building energy codes; introduction and implementation of energy performance certification and energy pricing measures; promotion of Energy Service Companies; awareness programmes and initiatives to promote energy efficiency; (ii) implementation of energy efficiency standards in new and existing buildings, existence of compliance and enforcement mechanisms, institutional capacity and effectiveness of existing energy efficiency policies. The study provides findings on conformity of the existing energy efficiency standards with the UNECE Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings and identifies barriers affecting the effective achievement of energy efficiency policies potential.  

The project also develops three national studies with a more detailed gap analysis in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Moldova. Preliminary findings of these national studies were also presented at the Workshop. They analyze the energy performance of buildings, implementation of current building energy efficiency standards in the countries and provide country-specific recommendations on the possibilities to bridge the existing gaps.  

UNDP is implementing the GEF financed project Moldova Sustainable Green Cities. The main objective of the project is to activate investments in low carbon green urban development based on integrated urban planning approach by encouraging innovation, participatory planning and partnerships between a variety of public and private sector entities.   

As a tool for this, the project launched the Green City Lab as an independent and sustainable entity and to carry out pilot projects implementation and other projects in areas of low carbon urban development and mobility, energy efficiency and solid waste management. 

Under the project a Green design code was developed aiming to provide a framework to help the local decision-makers to design new affordable and energy efficient housing, undertake efficient measures for retrofitting the existing building stock, implement the buildings green certification, as well as use of green building materials and design. 

The participants of the workshop validated findings and recommendations of the draft study and reflected on the status of implementation of energy efficiency standards in buildings in the countries of the UNECE region. The workshop also reviewed the current initiatives to support development of the affordable and energy efficient housing stock in the Republic of Moldova.