Identifying energy retrofit investment opportunities is a big challenge that is being addressed by the Horizon 2020 ENERFUND project, and both it and other innovative tools are likely to become more and more influential in developing the energy retrofit market, writes Michael Hanratty

Elec

Investment in energy retrofit of Ireland’s commercial and public buildings is a critical element of Ireland’s challenge in meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets. According to the SEAI, there are 109,000 commercial buildings with an annual primary energy consumption of 18,000,000kWh.

Identifying energy retrofit investment opportunities is a big challenge that is now being addressed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 ENERFUND project.

Aims to scale up investments in deep renovation of buildings across Europe


ENERFUND aims to scale up investments in deep renovation of buildings across Europe. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, it provides key stakeholders such as financing institutions, energy service companies and local authorities, with sound and up-to-date information regarding the energy efficiency of the EU’s building stock.

The ENERFUND project has created an application that where mapped commercial and public building energy rating (BER) datasets – also called energy performance certificates (EPC) more widely in the EU – in 13 EU member states including Ireland are mapped to building level.

Indeed in several countries, domestic BER data is also available at building level, notably Denmark, the Netherlands and England & Wales. In additional to showing the mapped BER data, ENERFUND has several innovative features.

Rates a building’s retrofit potential


It includes filtering options to select buildings based on set criteria and also provides the ENERFUND score which rates a building’s retrofit potential.

ENERFUND offers the opportunity to compare deep-renovation opportunities of single buildings using data from energy performance certificates (EPC) and is constantly upgraded with extended data and functionalities.

It is freely accessible online and provides buildings information for 13 European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

In total, data for more than 73 million unique buildings coming from eight million energy performance certificates (EPCs) are now embedded and geocoded into the tool, and more data is being added.

In the case of Denmark, all residential and commercial BERs are shown at building level.

The SEAI made the Irish commercial BER dataset available so now more than 60,000 commercial buildings/units in Ireland can now be viewed and interrogated for the first time via the ENERFUND tool http://app.enerfund.eu/.

Of course individual commercial units within a single building can have their own BER leading to multiple BERs within the same building, so the total number of buildings will be less than 60,000.

The filtering options include BER band ranges, floor area (m2), building types such as retail, hotel, nursing homes, offices etc and fuel type. Thus, the user can select their preferred building subset.

The user can also pan in and by clicking on rating circles can gather information on selected buildings. The example from Cork below shows the results for two buildings selected for comparison.

As well as indicating key attributes including as BER, floor area, fuel types, age of construction, property type, it also provides the ENERFUND score.

The ENERFUND score is an algorithm developed to rate the retrofit investment potential of a building. It is a uniform scoring method for all datasets contained in ENERFUND.

The algorithm includes factors such as current rating, potential rating, floor area, age of construction, property price levels, noise levels, ownership, occupancy level and the owner’s funding capabilities.

Where no data for any of these factors is available, then default values are used. The ENERFUND score rates the retrofit investment potential of a building on a scale from 0-100. The higher the score, the higher its energy retrofit potential.

Quality and consistency of BER datasets


During the projects it was notable that the quality and consistency of BER datasets and access to those datasets varied considerably across EU member states.

It was also apparent that provision should be made to geo-code all national EPC datasets and EU-wide consensus is urgently required to address GDPR issues relating to residential EPC data in particular.

Example from Cork

The revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EU) 2018/844 entered into force on July 9, 2018. EU countries will have to transpose the new elements of the directive into national law within 20 months.

The new directive has huge potential for efficiency gains in the EU building sector, the largest single energy consumer in Europe.

It includes measures that will accelerate the rate of building renovation towards more energy efficient systems and strengthen the energy performance of new buildings, making them smarter.

ENERFUND and other innovative tools will thus hopefully become more and more influential in developing the energy retrofit market. The development work on ENERFUND highlights a host of other dataset linkages and enhancements that should be explored both nationally and across the EU.

Author: Michael Hanratty, MEI, ENERFUND project manager, Ireland

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/seai1-1024x662.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/seai1-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanElecenergy,Horizon,Sustainable Energy Authority
Investment in energy retrofit of Ireland’s commercial and public buildings is a critical element of Ireland’s challenge in meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets. According to the SEAI, there are 109,000 commercial buildings with an annual primary energy consumption of 18,000,000kWh. Identifying energy retrofit investment opportunities is a big challenge...