The European Union is more determined than ever to boost the energy performance of buildings and achieve their ambitious energy and environmental goals of reducing greenhouse gases by 55% in 2030 (vs. 1990 levels)*.
To comply with the long-term strategy, several initiatives and regulations are being launched across the EU under the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was launched in line with the famous Kyoto protocol that initiated the sustainability movement. These were the first global measures agreed upon to revolutionise the energy consumption habits of the global population.
Today, countries are picking up the pace rolling out regulations and deadlines to keep the sustainability movement on target:
For new buildings:
- All new buildings in the EU must be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB). This means, all new buildings from 2021 onwards must have very high energy performances and utilise a renewable energy source to a significant extent.
- The UK has announced a ban on all gas boilers from 2025 for new build properties.
- Germany has announced strict rules making the use of heating systems that do not utilise renewable energy virtually impossible.
- Hungary obliges new buildings to be designed with a minimum of 25% renewable energy utilised within their cooling & heating solutions.
For existing buildings:
Following the introduction of energy performance rules in national building codes, buildings today consume only half as much as typical buildings from the 1980’s but inefficient building stock is still responsible for 50% of the EU’s total energy consumption and for 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions.
So, while sociality is heading in the right direction with new properties, it is clear that only addressing new buildings will not be sufficient to reach the EU’s ambitious goals of reaching a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.
As a result, 97% of buildings will need to be renovated making “Renovating buildings for greener lifestyles'' one of the EU Commissions’ key initiatives.
As part of the renewable energy directive, EU countries must now set cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements. This directive expands beyond new buildings and includes existing buildings undergoing major renovation, and the replacement or retrofit of building elements like heating and cooling systems, rooves and walls.
A large proportion of existing commercial building stock such as hotels and offices currently utilise fossil fuels for heating via gas boilers. This is mainly due to the competitive gas prices compared to electricity prices and assumed higher water loop temperature requirements of old buildings with poor insulation.
However, with the ability to reach high water temperatures, higher energy performance, lower CO2 footprint and lower operating costs, heat pumps are quickly becoming a viable solution for renovated commercial buildings.
Subsidies for solutions:
Fortunately, governments recognise that installing, retrofitting, or replacing entire HVAC-R systems with heat pump systems can be cost preventative for many premises’ owners in the current economic climate. The availability of subsidies to help fund the installation of heat pumps into residential homes is an increasing trend across the EU.
When it comes to the commercial market however, local governments are also gradually picking up the pace, increasingly providing subsidies to support business owners for their commercial projects. Such examples are:
- Austria offers to provide up to 20% of the investment costs of heat pumps above 100kW.
- Slovenia and Croatia incentivise the heat pump usage within non-residential buildings for both new built & renovation.
- France has introduced initiatives to replace fuel boilers with low carbon emission systems in preparation for a full ban in the coming years.
As a key player within the HVAC-R industry, we are committed in helping create a global de-carbonised future. Our goal is to assist business owners in making informed choices and support them in switching to more efficient, renewable HVAC-R solutions that can turn their buildings into greener and more compliant premises.
Daikin can undertake not only the inspection and recommendation service but also the installation of equipment and assistance to navigate the complex subsidies available. From our wide portfolio, our low GWP R32 heat pumps utilise renewable energy and provide a new opportunity to reduce the environmental footprint of heating and cooling systems.
Specifically designed to heat a wide range of spaces including hotels, hospitals, offices, trade centres and industrial plants, these products can satisfy heating and cooling demands that range from 16 to 650 kW making heat pumps one of the easiest and quickest solutions to implement to reach global environmental goals.
To find out more about out heat pump solutions for commercial applications visit: https://www.daikin-ce.com/en_us/product-group/chillers/chiller-and-heat-pump-series.html