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Energy Efficiency in Buildings

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Energy Efficiency in Buildings. EXPERIENCES FROM THE DEVELOPMENT IN SLOVAKIA. The Act no. 555/2005 Coll. on EPB implementing the European EPBD into Slovak legislation is generally considered a step forward. Existing problems can be split into following areas:

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Energy Efficiency in Buildings



The Act no. 555/2005 Coll. on EPB implementing the European EPBD into Slovak legislation is generally considered a step forward.

Existing problems can be split into following areas:

1. Philosophical, political and legislative

A. The role of the state

B. The role of the professional community

C. The role of the general public

D. The impact of timing

E. Other/specific problems

2. Technical

3. Financing and supporting programs in current Slovak practice


A. The role of the state

  • At the moment, there is no ‘head coordinator’ in charge of implementing the Slovak energy policy
  • The attitude of the state in this area appears as purely formal (no analyses, almost no discussion, no campaign). Basically the act was approved in order to fulfill the commitments of the Slovak Republic to the European Union
  • The Act on EPB was not properly followed through as it fails to define the use of energy certificates in practice

B. The role of professional community

  • The Slovak Chamber of Civil Engineers provides training for professionals to be qualified for energy certification
  • The architects’ and designers’ awareness in the field of energy certification of buildings still appears to be insufficient. Hence, an undesirable segregation of planning and energy certification is evident
  • The greatest shortcoming seems to be the absence of a comprehensive view on energy efficiency of buildings. There are four points of energy consumption, which are separately assessed (building envelope, heating, ventilation and cooling, electricity)

C. The role of the general public

  • The Slovak public’s awareness of the efficient and economical use of energy is relatively good, however
  • - when applying the specific measures into practice, problems do appear, particularly financial ones
  • - the willingness to influence the process of energy certification of buildings by applying pressure on authorities through the media is insufficient

D. The impact of timing

  • the economic crisis had negative impact on the willingness of building owners to invest resources in energy certification, quality projects and developing building with low energy consumption, despite apparent long-term benefits

E. Other / specific problems

  • There is high probability that the regulations implementing the Act no. 555/2005 Coll. will be changed, somehow, in the future. Hence, it would be highly desirable to perform all the changes that will necessarily come in the future in a consistent manner, i.e. that each new regulation replaces the old one on a full scale.

The financing and supporting programs in current Slovak practice

  • There are several funding programs, e.g. the Government’s program of thermal insulation or the Program for improvement of the thermal performance of buildings.
  • There is a lack of supporting programs to increase awareness and motivation of building owners (e.g. introduction of a combination of financial mechanisms, market-based instruments - support, soft loans, subsidies, penalties, environmental tax, more convenient / discounted real estate taxes, etc.), and qualified persons
  • Financial assignments in research and development aimed at increasing energy efficiency in buildings are badly missing.

The SKGBC potential in the implementation of the EPBD II

  • 1. The SKGBC as an association of important companies from the building sector has a good potential to become a moderator of an independent discussion and a partner of the state institutions
  • The task of SKGBC should be primarily to formulate the comments and requirements of the member institutions and communicate those to the responsible state institutions
  • The ambition of the Slovak Green Building Council is to actively take part in this process through its newly-formed Legislative working group, and/or through platforms created with similarly oriented organizations

The immediate topics of the SKGBC agenda could include the following:

  • Bid for reducing the bureaucracy related to the energy certification of buildings with a view of general and positive acceptance of the respective legislation,
  • Bid for transferring the focus of energy certification to large new and significantly renovated public and industrial buildings, where the state should set a good example using its own buildings,
  • Bid for fair assessment of buildings from the technical viewpoint, that would avoid the inclusion of the energy produced within the building and delivered to public network (e. g. electrical network) among the justified energy gains. These should include only the energy directly used within the building without any compensation.