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Basic provisions of energy efficiency of buildings: Facts and Figures Print

A little over than 10 years ago increasing of energy efficiency level became a priority for the development of urban infrastructure. Until 2007 the reorientation of market on energy efficiency and equipment was constrained by low cost of electricity tariffs: cost of construction in Russia was only 20-30% lower than at international markets, while domestic  tariff on energy resources were lower by 6-7 times.  However, over the past few years domestic  electricity tariffs increased by more than 45%, the price of gas - more than 60%. The housing and utilities sector felt these changes one of the first as it is consumed up to 20% of electricity energy and up to 45% of heating energy produced in the Russian Federation.  Constant growth of energy consumption is the result of high level of losses of these resources in the sector.  Up to 70% of the produced heat does not reach the consumer, 40% is lost during transmission and 30% - in buildings directly. The Center of Energy Efficiency evaluated , by the request of The Worlds Bank Group,  the structure of energy using on the bases of data of equipment: shares of buildings equipped with certain types of energy-consuming equipment and specific energy consumption of this equipment.  Taken into account the fact that three quarters of the buildings in Russia is connected to the Central heating systems.

Table 1: Indicators of energy consumption in residential buildings in Russia

№  Name of heating energy consumption                                                                                        kWh/m2/year

1.  The current standard of energy efficiency of apartment buildings                                         >100

2.  Modern building                                                                                                                                130-150

3.  The actual level of energy consumption in buildings without readjustment panel              300-400

4.  The level of energy consumptions, received during the formation of tariffs for heating    220-250

A practical example

Total consumption of fuel and energy resources in St. Petersburg in 2009, 15,842 thousand tcf. Final consumption of energy resources in St. Petersburg in 2009, 12 579 thousand tcf.


Table 2: Structure of final energy consumption in St. Petersburg

№   Name                                                                                                                                                   %

  1. Population                                                                                                                                     40
  2. Industry                                                                                                                                          33
  3. Transport                                                                                                                                        11
  4. Other                                                                                                                                               8
  5. Budget institutions                                                                                                                        7
  6. Construction                                                                                                                                   1


This example shows that the highest potential for improving the efficiency of final energy consumption exists in a residential,  commercial and public buildings. Housing sector is the second largest in energy consumption in Russia, and has the greatest potential for energy savings.  In general share of these buildings consumes the third of total final energy. Two-thirds of the potential energy savings in this sector can be achieved through a reduction of consumption of thermal energy for heating and hot water.  In general, the potential for energy savings in residential buildings is estimated by the World Bank [1] at the level of - 49%. The main segments in this system are the heating and hot water - they contain more than 70% of this potential. Modernization of the existing housing stock can reduce the energy consumption to a level of 151 kWh/m2/year.

A practical example

The total potential energy savings in St. Petersburg in 2009 was 4318 thousand tcf (27% of consumed fuel energy resources).  The total energy saving potential  in St. Petersburg in 2009 – 3424 thousands of  tcf.  The total potential  of energy savings in the public sector in St. Petersburg in 2009 - 265 thousand tcf.

Table 3: The structure of the energy saving potential of final consumers in SPb.

№   Name                                                                                                                                                                   %%

  1. Population                                                                                                                                                  45
  2. Industry                                                                                                                                                       31
  3. Transport                                                                                                                                                    9
  4. Others                                                                                                                                                         7
  5. Budget institutions                                                                                                                                   8
  6. Construction                                                                                                                                              0.3

One of the most  important aspects is to improve the quality of projects solutions for new, reconstructed and  repaired buildings, including the reduction of energy consumption and operating costs. Analysis of operating costs in the life cycle of the building leads to the conclusion that at least 50% of the sum of all costs over the life cycle of a building fall on operating costs.

Table 4: Distribution of costs over the life of the building

№   Name of cost                                                                                                                                                      %%

  1. Construction costs                                                                                                                                      11
  2. Payments for resources                                                                                                                             14
  3. Repair                                                                                                                                                            25
  4. Operational costs                                                                                                                                        50

So, the introduction of measures to  optimization, energy saving  and energy efficiency in the operation stage of the building, is promising and should be done at the stage of design documentation. The major directions of this work should be:

-optimization of generation system and fuel supply;

-optimization of building engineering systems;

-optimization of design solutions and the use of effective walling.

Comprehensive implementation of these measures can reduce operating costs by 30% - 50% and this is with an increase in the estimated cost of construction by 10-15%. So, energy efficiency in buildings is the synergistic nature and has a delayed effect: formed in the design and construction phases, and is implemented in the operational stage.

Another important factor to evaluate the potential of energy saving and energy efficiency - the dynamics of losses by walling properties of resistance to heat transfer due to climatic stress and unqualified maintenance and operation.  So for example, research results of objects in Kirovsk, Murmansk region, showed that the traditional operating level thermal resistance of the building envelope is 2-3 times below the norm. indoor air temperature of 2 degrees lower than the standard-6oS in all the objects.  . In the city, almost everywhere, apart from the educational institutions observed heat output below the contractual terms. Major heat loss occurs through ventilation and infiltration.

Table 5: Relative heat loss of a brick building on the example of Kirovsk Murmansk region

№   Name                                                                                                                                                           %%

  1. Ventilation                                                                                                                                               23
  2. Infiltration                                                                                                                                               22
  3. Windows                                                                                                                                                  20
  4. Walls                                                                                                                                                         13
  5. Attic floor                                                                                                                                                  8
  6. Basement overlap                                                                                                                                    8
  7. Socle                                                                                                                                                           6
  8. Entrance doors                                                                                                                                         3

Thus it may be noted that:

-resistance to heat transfer through the building envelope due to various subjective and objective reasons, changes over the operating time, while significantly increasing the actual heat loss;

-almost half of the actual heat loss falls on ventilation and infiltration;

- most heats places are not enough adjusted on the hydraulic and the thermal regimes, this also applies to internal thermal networks of buildings;

-  there is no centralized control system parameters on thermal points.

All of the above requires the development of standard design solutions, modernization of existing walling systems engineering, search of methodical  support, investment support, in addition, the coordination of cooperation between federal and regional authorities.

A practical example

Within the framework of intergovernmental agreements and the Ministry of Regional Development of the Government of St. Petersburg with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development in Germany resulting from the joint research was to develop a list of the technical work for a comprehensive energy efficient refurbishment panel apartment house construction 137 series , as well as a list of activities which are not related to energy savings , but technically necessary . Series 137 is 17% of the housing stock of large panel buildings of St. Petersburg  , this series extended to the territory of the Northwestern Federal District .

To conduct a comprehensive energy efficient refurbishment, providing 50% energy savings,  the following documentation has been developed: catalog of measures for energy rehabilitation; the heat load after rehabilitation proving energy savings; volume calculation of subcontracting  works to meet current market prices; as-built drawings and paintings; construction plan (sample).


Crucial to work on a comprehensive rehabilitation of residential buildings will be financial opportunities homeowners depending on the size of their income and expenses, as well as mechanisms to support these projects from the regional and federal budgets.

One of the key factors that influence the sustainable development of comfortable living environment are:

-the actual state of the economy of the subject of RF and Russian Federation  as a whole;

-the state of demand, its support and management of supply and demand in the housing market and services;

- the cyclic change of priorities of resourcing energy efficiency projects in the housing sector;

-the current state of energy consumption in the residential sector,  social, industrial and utility companies, service industries, etc.

Implementation of measures to improve energy efficiency in the residential sector as well, can significantly reduce energy consumption, saving an additional amount of energy due to concomitant reduction of primary energy consumption.