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Energy performance certification of buildings: a policy tool to improve energy efficiency

This paper offers guidance for best practice in implementing building energy certification programs.

Buildings currently account for 40% of energy use in most countries, putting them among the largest end-use sectors. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified the building sector as one of the most cost-effective sectors for reducing energy consumption.

Energy performance certification is a key policy instrument that can assist governments in reducing energy consumption in buildings. It provides decision makers in the buildings industry and the property marketplace with objective information on a given building, either in relation to achieving a specified level of energy performance or in comparison to other similar buildings.

As such, certification can help governments achieve national energy targets and enhance environmental, social and economic sustainability in the building sector. Often, certification is most successful when complemented with other initiatives that support energy efficiency.

This publication proposes a pathway comprising of four stages for the development and implementation of energy certification schemes for buildings:

Plan: define the terms of reference for the energy performance certification scheme, and develop an appropriate policy framework and action plan; engage multiple actors, allocate sufficient resources and communicate often with all stakeholders.

Implement: provide for training and support to ensure well-qualified building assessors; raise awareness of the scheme in industry and among the public; ensure efficient operation of systems for central collection, review and dissemination of data.

Monitor: establish quality control mechanisms to monitor performance of the certification scheme and of the assessors (and provide support for assessors); communicate results and outcomes openly to relevant stakeholders.

Evaluate: analyze whether the certification scheme is achieving established goals and adjust scheme or systems as needed to increase impact; consider expanding the scheme to include environmental issues and assess its effectiveness in relation to supporting (and being supported by) other policy measures.

Read Energy performance certification of buildings: a policy tool to improve energy efficiency.