Thermal efficiency target behind schedule

Renovate Europe, a political campaign group targeting an 80% reduction in energy use in buildings across Europe by 2050, has reported that the EU are currently behind target, particularly in the domestic sector.

There are an estimated 200 million dwellings in the EU that need renovating, it claims, and improved energy conservation measures are also needed. The current rate of renovation is 1% per annum, whereas 3% per annum is required to meet the 2050 target.

“Improved insulation and energy efficiency of dwellings makes sense whatever the heating system deployed, since this will reduce emissions and fuel costs regardless of technology,” said Graham Wright, president of the Heat Pump Association (HPA) president. “Although there is an urban myth that heat pumps can only be installed in highly thermally efficient buildings, there can be additional benefits for heat pumps when retrofitted in renovated buildings,” he continued.

The additional benefits referred to are that the existing heat emitters may be able to provide the new reduced heat demand at lower than the original design temperature. This optimises heat pump performance, whilst at the same time does not require heat emitters to be upsized by replacement. A further advantage of major renovation is the possibility to choose some of the new low profile wet underfloor heating (UFH) systems. While it is not essential to use UFH with heat pumps, it does mean the occupier may be able to benefit from the increased comfort and reduced running costs that UFH provides when fitted with any heating system.

The HPA supports the Renovate Europe campaign to improve the thermal efficiency of all buildings.

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