The Energy performance of buildings directive recast came into force on July 9th 2010. Member States shall adopt and publish, by July 9th 2012 at the latest, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with most of the articles. The background for the directive states that buildings account for 40 % of the total energy consumption in the European Union. Therefore, the reduction of energy consumption and the use of energy from renewable sources in the building sector constitute important measures which are needed to reduce the Union’s energy dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the Directive the Member States shall ensure that by 31 December 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero energy buildings; and after 31 December 2018, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities will be nearly zero-energy buildings.
In the directive ‘nearly zero-energy building’ means a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby. Since the Commission does not give minimum or maximum harmonized requirements, it will be up to the Member States to define what for them exactly constitutes a “very high energy performance”.
National roadmaps towards nearly zero energy buildings are needed for all member states. Member States shall draw up national plans for increasing the number of nearly zero-energy buildings. Member States shall furthermore, following the leading example of the public sector, develop policies and take measures such as the setting of targets in order to stimulate the transformation of buildings that are refurbished into nearly zero-energy buildings.
In the Swedish Action Plan “Nearly zero-energy buildings (2012),” the Swedish Government concludes that an implementation of the concept of near-zero energy building demands stricter Swedish building code requirements on energy compared to now”. But it also says that today there is insufficient evidence to indicate a quantified approach on how far-reaching tightening might be necessary.
The Action Plan states that the Government needs to check conditions and status-quo again in 2015. Results from the 5 MountEE projects will be an important input to the government’s revision and future strategy regarding NZEB.
Until then, several promoting activities will be implemented to increase knowledge and experience across Sweden and to reduce costs for a final implementation of the directive. This includes pilot and demonstration project in all parts of the country, incl. follow-up measurements and documentation. For Northern Sweden, the maximum energy demand is set to 106 kWh/m2. The government is intending to provide 120 million SEK per year for pilot and demonstration projects.
It will be decisive for the future of NZEB development in Sweden to transfer international experience also to Northern parts of Sweden, and even to implement sound pilot projects that will feed in into the next evaluation of the implementation of the building directive.
More information at the Swedish Energy Agency´s (Energimyndigheten) web site: