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Saving energy

December 29, 2014

BUILDINGS are responsible for 48pc of the world’s energy consumption and are the single largest contributor to global warming. In Europe, buildings represent 40pc of the European Union’s total energy consumption.

Recognising the importance of energy efficiency in this sector, the EU introduced an Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2002 (revised in 2010) which required all EU countries to enhance their building regulations and to introduce energy certification schemes such as ‘display energy certificate’ (DEC) for their public buildings. The objective of this directive was to promote the energy performance of buildings within the European Community.

A DEC rates the actual or operational energy performance of a building against established benchmarks and takes into consideration the ways in which occupants use the building.

The operational rating on a DEC (A to G) illustrates how efficiently the building is using energy. Only the public buildings with an area 500m2 or above are required to display a DEC. A similar scheme for the public sector buildings in Pakistan can result in a significant reduction in its energy demand and could promote the energy efficiency in the building sector.

At present the building sector in Pakistan represents 55pc of its annual electricity consumption. In 2011-12 domestic buildings consumed 47pc electricity whereas commercial buildings consumed eight per cent of the country’s total electricity.

Unfortunately, there are no policies or schemes such as DEC in place which could regulate energy consumption and could promote energy efficiency in the building sector of Pakistan.

Dr Khuram Pervez
Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology
Mirpur, Azad Kashmir

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2014