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Energy Performance of Buildings

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This Department is the lead Department for the implementation of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (recast).

Part L of the Building Regulations Conservation of Fuel and Energy in Dwellings sets the energy and carbon dioxide emissions requirements for new and existing buildings subject to the Building Regulations.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Reports

Retrofitting of existing buildings

Implementation of the revised EPBD (2018/844/EU)

Amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations (relating to the conservation of fuel and energy in dwellings) give effect to the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2019, published on 03 May 2019 (S.I. 183 of 2019). The regulations will come into effect on 01 November 2019. The regulations transpose Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings (recast) as amended by Directive (EU) 2018/844 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018. The Directive sets requirements for Member States to improve the energy performance of buildings and make an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A revised Technical Guidance Document, L (Conservation of Fuel and Energy) Dwellings has been published to accompany the Regulations.

The Directive defines a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) as a building that has a very high energy performance. It states that 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. Article 9(1) of the Directive requires Member States to ensure that by 31 December 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero energy buildings. Under the previous 2011 regulations, a typical new dwelling is built to an A3 Building Energy Rating (BER). The NZEB requirements will equate to an A2 BER.  This represents a 70% improvement in energy efficiency and a 70% reduction in CO2  emissions compared to 2005.  It also introduces 20% renewables as a percentage of the total building energy use.

The Directive requires that where major renovations (defined as a renovation where more than 25% of the surface envelope of the building undergoes renovation) are carried out on a building, the building should achieve a cost optimal energy performance at building level insofar as is technically, functionally and economically feasible. The cost optimal energy performance level is equivalent to a B2 BER.

The improvement in performance to this new NZEB standard is achieved by, among other things, advancing the air tightness performance of the building, which in turn requires more effective ventilation systems. An amendment to Part F (Ventilation) of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations sets out minimum standards to provide effective and adequate means of ventilation in buildings in order to ensure good indoor air quality. A revised Technical Guidance Document, F (Ventilation) has been published to accompany the Regulations.

The main benefits of the new regulations include reduced energy bills, alleviation of fuel poverty, health improvements and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.