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UNECE fosters improved energy efficiency in buildings

Improving energy efficiency in buildings is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure energy security, improve the quality of life and economic well-being, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The building sector presents a unique opportunity to improve energy efficiency substantially – both by retrofitting existing buildings and by requiring higher energy efficiency standards in new buildings.

While it is generally recognized that significant progress is being made in improving energy efficiency in buildings in the UNECE region, there is still substantial potential further action. This was among the main conclusions of the UNECE studies presented at the joint UNECE-UNDP events “Energy Efficiency Standards and Technologies in Buildings in UNECE Region” on 14-15 March 2019 in Yerevan, Armenia.

A workshop on “Outcomes of the UNECE project on Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings – Fifth Meeting of the UNECE Joint Task Force on Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings” was dedicated to reviewing main findings, conclusions and practical recommendations of the “Mapping of Energy Efficiency Standards in UNECE region”, “Mapping of Existing Technologies to Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings in the UNECE region”, “Compendium of best practices on standards and technologies for energy efficiency in buildings” and the structure and functionality of the online database of experts on energy efficiency in buildings currently under development.

These resources served as a basis for discussion and exchange of experience on case studies and best practices in legislative frameworks (European Union, Russian Federation, Armenia), effective energy management solutions (cases in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe), and special financial mechanisms (Armenia and Russian Federation). Participants agreed that every step towards energy efficiency makes a difference in changing the situation and improving its prospects. The important issue of how effectively stakeholders can talk about energy efficiency with national authorities so that they could enforce the implementation of energy efficiency legislation and norms was also discussed.

A second workshop on “Management, maintenance and energy efficient retrofits of multi-apartment buildings: trends in technologies, practices and legislation” offered a forum for discussion of both successes and occasional failures in the development and operation of energy management systems with examples from Armenia, North Macedonia, Serbia, and the Russian Federation. A Belarusian expert presented the issue of how thermo-technical characteristics of a building are used for energy efficiency classification. A representative of the Passive House Institute gave examples of retrofitting solutions for residential and public buildings and explained how this experience can be utilized in Armenia. The last part of the workshop focused on discussions around the development of Guidance for Municipal Energy Management and Information System Implementation.

The stakeholders emphasized that exchanging experience and looking at similarities and differences in approaches to energy efficiency in buildings made this capacity-building event extremely valuable. They strongly supported continuation of these activities by UNECE and UNDP in the region.

For further information on the workshop, please visit:   

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