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EPBD & Building automation and controls market

EPBD & Building automation and controls market

Building automation and controls  is one of PERFORMER’s reference markets. It might be strongly affected by the EU and national policies as the building automation and controls’ application in both existing and new buildings is recommended by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD 2010/31/EU). The way the EPBD recommendations are transported and implemented at Member State level across the European Union was investigated in the analysis The inclusion of building automation and controls in legislation and building codes prepared by the European Building Automation and Controls Association in 2016.

The results of the report were prepared on the basis of the fieldwork completed in August 2016 – professionals representing BAC industry and building sector were surveyed in the following countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom).

Although the EPBD is a big step in the right direction for improving the energy performance of EU’s building stock, it doesn’t grasp the cost-effective potential of building automation and controls according to the report. What is more, the results of the survey show that Member States do not fulfil effectively the task of transposing and implementing the partial requirements and recommendations for building automation and controls currently comprised in EPBD.

Survey results in a nutshell[1]:

  • building automation and controls is only partially (1/3 of full potential) included in the national methodologies for calculating the energy performance of buildings;
  • EPBD’s Article 8 ‘Technical building systems’ paragraph 2 is either not transposed or transposed just as recommendation in the national legislation;
  • building automation and controls is only partially (1/3 of full potential) included in the national calculation methodology for issuing an energy performance certificates,
  • the recommendations for energy performance improvements highly depends on the expertise of the energy performance certificate issuer. Only in France and the United Kingdom default improvements for heating controls are considered. Another exception is Italy where, for new and deep renovated non-residential buildings, it is required to have Class B of building automation and controls according to EPBD standard EN 15232;
  • EPBD Article 14 ‘Inspection of heating systems’ and EPBD Article 15 ‘Inspection of air conditioning systems’ include only partially building automation and controls in some EU Member States;
  • EPBD’s Article 14 ‘Inspection of heating systems’ paragraph 1 and EPBD’s Article 15 ‘Inspection of air-conditioning systems’ paragraph 1 are either not transposed or transposed just as recommendation in the national legislation;
  • In states where building automation and controls are considered in the inspection process for heating and/or air-conditioning systems, the building automation and controls improvements are usually included the report issued as a result of the inspection process;
  • for most EU Member states participating in the survey, there aren’t recommendations nor requirements for building automation and controls. Some Member States included recommendations or requirements in their building codes. The recommendations and requirements are focusing more on non-residential buildings and most often recommend or require Class C (Class B Italy) of building automation and controls according to EPBD standard EN 15232;
  • apart from France, Germany and the United Kingdom that have own national voluntary certification schemes for non-residential buildings (i.e. HQE, DGNB, BREEAM), the other EU Member States, for which responses were received, use the internationally acknowledged schemes i.e. BREEAM, LEED. All these existing voluntary certification schemes for non-residential buildings take only indirectly into account the benefits of building automation and controls;
  • the existing financial incentives are underused or not used at all, due to either the lack of awareness of such programmes or their complexity, which entails a long and complicated bureaucratic process discouraging providers of energy performance projects.

Even though the role of EPBD in shaping the market of building automation and controls is not as big as it could be, it will definitely gain greater and greater importance. The recent EPBD review is a great opportunity to provide policy makers with better instruments to effectively and  fully exploit the potential of EU’s building stock in terms of optimizing the energy use in operation phase with the use of building automation and control equipment.

It should be remembered that the biggest global gains in energy efficiency are linked to mandatory policy instruments – the observation was confirmed in the Energy Efficiency Market Report  2016 by International Energy Agency (IEA). According to the report, during the past 15 years some good policy progress might have been observed, with a steady expansion of mandatory policies focused on improving energy efficiency. In 2015, 30% of final energy demand globally was covered by mandatory efficiency policies, up from 11% in 2000. The average performance levels mandated by policies have increased by 23% over the last decade, delivering greater savings. The fastest progress has been observed in residential buildings, where expansion of building energy codes and tightening of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) on heating and cooling equipment are driving improvements.

[1] Results presented for EU Member States from which responses were received
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