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European Home Energy

March/April 2009
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2009 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 09, 2009
Denmark is taking steps to meet, and then exceed, the European Union's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive for single-family homes.
Buildings account for about 40% of the total primary energy consumption in Europe. To reduce this share, the European Commission has issued a directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings, the EPBD (2002/91/EC). In addition to improving the overall energy efficiency of new buildings, the EPBD targets large existing buildings for improvement whenever the buildings undergo significant renovation. The EPBD directive came into force in 2002 and should have been implemented in the legislation of member states in 2006. Unfortunately, many member states have not yet managed to comply. An important aim of the directive is to improve the overall energy efficiency of new buildings. The directive requires a methodology for calculating the integrated energy performance of buildings, standards for the energy performance of buildings, and a labeling scheme for buildings. The new energy performance standards were introduced in Denmark in 2006. The requirements could reduce energy consumption in new buildings by 25%–30% compared to current consumption. According to the new requirements, new houses should meet an energy frame—that is, maximum total energy consumption, including energy for heating, ventilation, cooling, and hot water, but not electricity consumption for household appliances, lights, and electronic devices. Buildings are classified as ‘‘low-energy building ...

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