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What we do

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD2)

We see an ambitious, yet realistic implementation of the EBPD2 as a great opportunity for the Czech construction business to prepare in advance for future market conditions, to offer efficient good-quality buildings of high value and to foster innovation potential and know-how for future export. 

Czech EPBD2 transposition legislation was adopted by the Parliament in autumn after a heated debate and presidential veto. It includes step-by-step roadmap towards higher energy peformance standards of new buildings and sets a minimum requirement also for major and non-major renovation of existing buildings. It introduced also a new form of Energy Performance Certificates and significantly widened range of situations when EPCs must be issued.

Chance for Buildings took part in developing the transposition law and later it has become an important entity that explains and defends this new legislation in the public forum.

The law came into force as of 1 January 2013. However important pieces of secondary legislation were published only a quarter year afterwards and came into force as on 1 April 2013.

The secondary legislation provides exact definitions of the required standards and the methodology of their calculation. The criteria for cost-optimal levels for energy performance requirements are satisfactory and progressive. On the other hand, the definition of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings is currently weak, in fact weaker than a passive house standard.

Chance For Buildings prepared a comprehensive web portal on Energy Performance Certificates and on new requirements imposed by the legislation (www.prukaznadum.cz –only in Czech) and two fact sheets for the general public but useful also for municipalities, media etc..

 

Green Savings Programme

Czech Republic was successful in selling its Kyoto credits (AAUs) back in 2009–2010. Revenues from sales of over 90 mil. AAUs amounted to appr. 21 bln. CZK (>800 mil. euro) and were distributed through the Kyoto Protocol's Green Investment Scheme (locally called Green Savings Programme) to over 80,000 projects. It supported energy savings and use of local renewable energy sources for heat production at family houses and later also at multi-apartment buildings. The programme ended in autumn 2010 due to exhaustion of financial allocation. It attracted strong interest from residential building owners at the same time.

The first programme created certain demand in Czech society for KfW-like support. When EU ETS started auctioning in its third trading period (2013–2020), the Czech government and consequently Parliament has legally earmarked one half of revenues for various energy efficiency measures and appr. 2/3rds out of the half directed towards State Environmental Fund (SEF) managed by Ministry of Environment who was responsible for the Green Savings Programme. Preparation of the new successive programme was announced in early 2013, it's conditions published in June and receipt of applications opened on 12 August 2013.

As the price of emission allowances collapsed (though revived later a bit), a lack of revenues was substituted with 1 bln. CZK (40 mil. euro) from SEF's own assets (the programme was publically announced by then minister of environment so it constituted a kind of public commitment for him). So far, requests for support amounted to one half of the first allocation. The first week (or actually day or two), there was a boom in number of applications, intake of applications is now stabilized at a rate of 600,000 euro of requested subsidy per day.

Chance for Buildings however calls for long-term programme with stable conditions and stable financing. Our estimate of effective absorption capacity for energy efficiency improvements of family houses is 1 bln. euro until 2020. This should go hand in hand with similar programmes for multi-apartment residential, public and commercial buildings. These could be funded from EU Funds in the new period.

Chance For Buildings has commissioned the prominent Czech economist Mr. Zámečník, often quoted as an authoritative source on the quantification of economic benefits of such programs, to complete several  macroeconomic impact assessments.

 

EU Funds

Czech Republic did allocate around 14 bln. CZK (>550 mil. euro) via Operational Programme Environment (OPE) in the current programme period to energy efficient renovation of public buildings (schools, hospitals, municipal offices etc.). It has been one of the most successful lines in OPE and whole EU Funds 2007–2013.

Now the new OPs are being set-up. Czech government (Ministry for Regional Development) holds informal talks with European Commission (DG Regio) on Partnership Agreement and texts of the new Programme Documents. Once the European regulations on the EU Funds (namely Common Provisions Regulation, on European Regional Development Fund and on Cohesion Fund) are agreed in Brussels, agreements will be finalized in an official negotiation. At the same time, first drafts of Implementation Documents are being drafted on the national level.

EU Funds will not allow to finance physical persons thus support to energy efficiency in family houses should be covered from national sources (see Briefing No 1 on New Green Savings Programme). But both ERDF and CF will newly allow support of housing when it comes to energy efficiency and renewables. Then, our goal is to support energy efficiency in all the public, commercial and  multi-apartment residential buildings out of the EU funds.

Czech Republic will receive cca 20.5 bln. euro through the EU Funds in 2014–2020 that are available for all operational programmes. The estimated absorption capacity for supporting EE measures in buildings (excl. family houses) is estimated to appr. 75–80 bln. CZK (3+ bln. euro) until 2020. This would generate overall investment to energy efficient renovation of buildings in an order of 10–12 bln. euro. So far, no official proposals for allocation to individual OPs were published by the government. Informally quoted numbers are significantly lower than what could be effectively utilized.

 

Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The EED implementation has been a major political and legislative effort for Chance for Buildings in 2013 and 2014. The alliance supports and will promote severeal key elements of the directive: progressive national energy efficiency target, full compliance with 3 % renovation rate for public buildings, stronger support for energy services and introduction of Energy Efficiency Obligation that would oblige energy utilities to serve constumers in a way that they would save at least 1.5 % of their energy consumption each year.

Change for Buildings has been also appointed by Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop draft all-building stock renovation strategy for Czech Republic.

 

State Energy Policy

Energy intensity of Czech economy is more than 50 % higher than the EU28 average and thus improving energy efficiency is critical for future competitiveness. Highly energy performing and sustainable buildings are a key step in reducing the high resource and energy consumption of the Czech economy.

This should be reflected in the State Energy Policy, but it isn't. Chance for Buildings says, various scenarios of energy consumption should be modelled first and only afterwards the debate on power and heat sources should come in.

To encourage this point of view, Chance For Buildings has commissioned a critical review of the draft State Energy Policy by leading energy consultancy SEVEn. The review comments on the insufficient priority given to energy efficiency and the subsequent savings.

 

Project on Adaptation of buildings to climate change.

Chance for buildings and NGO Glopolis work together on a project financed by EEA grants aimed at creating a national strategy for adaptation of buildings to climate change.

Climate change is not only a challenge to be solved in the future but even nowadays we experience its negative effects. One of the major impacts we face in the area of Central Europe is a higher intensity and frequency of extreme weather events like heat waves and droughts in the summer, freezing weather in the winter, severe thunderstorms and floods.

We believe that with our project we bring unique inputs to a current discussion and that the measures we propose in the sector of buildings will play an important role in the efforts to mitigate and to adapt to a climate change. The sector of buildings brings in lot of synergies between adaptation an mitigation measures as for example the measures improving thermal insulation of buildings help to keep indoor environment stable throughout the year (adaptation) and at the same time they reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling and thus they save greenhouse gases emissions (mitigation) and even help limit the geopolitical risks stemming from import dependency.

The aim of the project is to provide expertise and support to the government (especially the Ministry of the Environment) and to local authorities (counties and cities) and to prepare a risk analysis and a set of measures to better adapt buildings to climate change.

 


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