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Since 2008, MOHURD has implemented a building energy efficiency labelling scheme in China. The labelling is mostly voluntary but it is required to be implemented by some buildings (mainly government office buildings and large service sector buildings, whose energy efficiency measures are supported by a central government subsidy). The building energy efficiency label is to notify the building energy consumption and energy efficiency ratio. The energy efficiency levels of civil buildings are categorized into five grades and labels with a different number of stars. From 2009 to 2011, MOHURD certified 125 projects certified in total, 19 buildings with 3-stars, 53 buildings with 2-stars and 53 buildings with 1-star.
The implementation of an energy efficiency evaluation label provides consumers with information about energy efficiency and an energy consumption index. It can strengthen market transparency, boost China’s building energy efficiency development, and guide and encourage property development companies for building using energy efficiency design, and thus steer the development of the construction industry. In addition, it will raise awareness in building energy efficiency and pave the way for enforcing the building energy efficiency compliance control and provide clear criteria for buildings to obtain financial support.
The first policy documents are the “Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Label” and “Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Agency” to fulfil the task of “Building energy evaluation implementation”, which is raised in “Notice on printing & distributing programmes of energy saving & emission deduction by the State Council” (State Council <2007> No. 15). In June 2008, “Technical Guidelines for Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation and Labelling (interim)” was issued to promote pilot projects of civil building energy efficiency evaluation. The guidelines are suitable for energy efficiency evaluation labelling in newly-built residential buildings, commercial and public buildings (summarised altogether as Civil Buildings in China), and energy-efficiency retrofit for existing buildings.
The core content of the civil building energy-efficiency evaluation label is to evaluate building energy efficiency, that is, to test and calculate indexes of building energy consumption and energy consuming system efficiency. The energy consumption system refers to energy consuming equipment and facilities that are designed and installed simultaneously with the building. Energy consuming equipment in residential buildings mainly refers to the heating and air conditioning system(s). In commercial and public buildings, they include the heating & air conditioning system(s) as well as the lighting system. Facilities refer to the service system(s) to ensure the operation of the equipment.
Building energy efficiency evaluation index includes: fundamental index, required index and optional index. Among them, the fundamental index and required index are linked to the existing national energy efficiency standards. Fundamental index refers to the energy consumption of heating and cooling per m2 calculated in accordance with the requirements and methods of the energy efficiency standards. In addition to the heating and cooling covered by the fundamental index, required index includes other mandatory items, such as building envelope, heating and cooling equipment according to energy efficiency standards. Optional index refers to additional indicators, including heating or cooling energy recovery, sustainable energy application etc. Evaluation methods include software evaluation, document checking, on-site examination and testing of the building features that relate to energy efficiency.
|1||关于试行民用建筑能效测评标识制度的通知||Notice on Trial System for Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation and Labelling|
|2||民用建筑能效测评标识管理暂行办法||Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Label|
|3||民用建筑能效测评机构管理暂行办法||Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Agency|
|4||民用建筑能效测评标识技术导则（试行）||Technical Guideline for Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation and Labelling (interim )|
Including necessary facts and data e.g. number of existing buildings, specific energy consumption per unit of technology in stock and in current market reference not BAT
For new buildings, MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards for buildings, c.f. bigEE China file on Regulations for Energy efficiency of building design and operation in new and refurbished buildings) require a maximum allowed energy consumption equivalent to saving 50% and 65% compared to the conventional building practices of the 1980s. Before the enactment of the building energy efficiency labelling, there was little incentive provided for implementing energy efficiency for both energy savings and energy efficiency retrofitting within existing buildings (except for some basic incentives, c.f. bigEE China file on Existing Building Retrofit and Heat Metering Reform in Northern Heating Areas) and for exceeding the MEPS levels in new build.
The building energy efficiency evaluation label system has been implemented in many other countries and gives good feedback in terms of building energy efficiency management. Actually, as a new management mechanism, the building energy efficiency evaluation label is widely adopted overseas. For example: The Energy Star in the USA, Energy Performance Certificates in the EU, energy passport in Russia, etc.
In China, the public is gradually becoming familiar with building energy efficiency. Item No. 21 of “Ordinance on Civil building Energy Conservation” (issued on Oct 1 2008) regulates that: energy efficiency in government office buildings and other large public buildings should be evaluated, labelled, and publicized. This shows that building energy efficiency becomes an issue for legislation in China. On that basis, MOHURD issued a civil building energy efficiency evaluation and labelling system in 2008, and issued policies such as “Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Label” “Interim Administrative Measures of Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation Agency”, and “Technical Guidelines for Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation and Labelling (interim)”.
After the issuing of the aforementioned policies at the national level, some provinces and cities, such as Beijing, Hainan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Guangxi, etc, formulated local policies for civil building energy efficiency evaluation labelling.
They are all national policies.
Civil building energy efficiency evaluation labelling targets a single building as a whole, including the pipe-work and heating & cooling equipment. The evaluation includes the thermal characteristics of the building envelope, heating & air conditioning system(s), ventilation and the deployment of sustainable energy generation and energy saving technologies. The theoretical value label should be calculated based on the energy consumption by heating & air conditioning equipment per m2 with software authorized by department responsible for building energy efficiency labelling.
The target is to encourage overall improvement in civil building energy efficiency, i.e. to achieve higher energy efficiency levels than required by MEPS in new buildings and to promote energy efficiency retrofitting in existing buildings.
In the “Technical Guidelines for Civil Building Energy-efficiency Evaluation and Labelling (interim)”(Policy 4), the target for building energy efficiency labelling is newly built residential buildings, commercial and public buildings as well as existing buildings after energy efficient retrofits. The evaluated objects are single buildings. The building energy efficiency label includes five grades, which are based on the building energy efficiency standard. When evaluating the theoretical values of building energy efficiency: 1-star is certified when 50~65% of energy saving compared to a typical building in the 1980s is achieved in the fundamental index and all items in the required index are fulfilled; 2-stars are certified when 65-75% of energy saving is achieved in the fundamental index and all items in the required index are fulfilled; 3-stars are certified when 75-85% of energy saving is achieved in the fundamental index and all items in the required index are fulfilled; 4-stars are certified when more than 85% of energy saving is achieved in the fundamental index and all items in the required index are fulfilled; 5-stars are certified when the building is able to obtain more than 60 points in the optional index (the total mark is 100). The evaluation procedure is to firstly evaluate the envelope and heating/air conditioning system in accordance with existing national building energy efficiency standards and then give additional points for the new technology application.
The policy package quotes the standards of different climate zones in Policy set 1, i.e. MEPS for new buildings in four climate zones
The energy efficiency label is compulsory for the green building label (policy set 4) and for the existing buildings that receive financial incentives for energy efficiency retrofit (policy set 5)
The trial implementation of building energy efficiency label began in 2008. It is a milestone in China’s building energy efficiency. For the first time, it evaluates both the theoretical (calculated) value and the actual (measured) value of energy consumption.
Firstly, the building energy efficiency evaluation contains a combination of qualitative and quantitative criteria. For residential, commercial and public buildings (excluding large scale commercial and public buildings), the building energy efficiency evaluation agencies conduct qualitative evaluation on the documents of design, construction, and completion & acceptance with the assistance of analysis software. For large scale commercial and public buildings, the agencies will additionally test major factors that influence energy efficiency and then publish results.
Secondly, the scheme includes a combination of compulsory label and voluntary label. Government office buildings and large scale commercial and public buildings, whose energy efficiency measures are supported by central government subsidy, must apply for energy efficiency label evaluation, in order to enhance the public supervision for energy efficient buildings financed by government. For other buildings, the developers voluntarily apply for the label.
Thirdly, the evaluation is based on the principle of the third party. Building energy efficiency label evaluation should be conducted by an authorized expert agency outside government. However, MOHURD and local construction administrations then implement the official act of issuing the label.
At present, China is compiling a technical standard for the energy efficiency evaluation label. The ‘standard’ will be more powerful in its implementation and much easier in operation, compared with the technical ‘guidelines’.
The policy package can also be optimised.
The label implementation can be linked with the compulsory building energy efficiency standards, which will boost the building energy efficiency development.
The label implementation can also be more closely linked with the green building labelling system (cf. the bigEE China file on this system). For example, the certificate for energy saving in green buildings can use the results directly from the building energy efficiency evaluation label. Moreover, only buildings that are approved by an evaluation label can apply for a green building certificate. In addition, when the energy efficiency evaluation label changes, the status of green building should be re-evaluated.
The government can encourage those buildings labelled with a high level of energy efficiency with positive incentives, such as reduction of tax and some other costs.
Public awareness of the building energy efficiency labelling system can be further enhanced. Consumers should be better informed about their economic saving potential from their heating/air conditioning/ventilation system when they live in a building labelled with a high level of energy efficiency.
The label could be made mandatory for more - or eventually all - new and existing buildings.
The following pre-conditions are necessary to implement this type of policy
Agencies or other actors responsible for implementation
Building research institutes should have expertise in evaluating the energy efficiency of the whole building as well as specific analysis equipment .There are already some domestic research institutes, which have the capacity and have become regional agencies that are responsible for energy efficiency evaluation for labelling.
Costs of preparation and implementation of the policy are covered by normal state and city budgets.
Costs for the project evaluation necessary to obtain a label are mostly covered by the applicants themselves. These can be the developer or the owner, which varies in different provinces or cities.
Actors responsible for design
Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China, MOHURD
There’s no special monitoring system for the energy efficiency evaluation label. However, since all projects covered to date are national demo projects, they are monitored through the annual energy efficiency inspection. This is eased by the fact that the label itself provides an evaluation for the energy efficiency of the projects.
Natural ventilation and day lighting design is one of the optional indicators for both residential and public building.
The following barriers have been experienced during the implementation of the policy
Evaluation labels in civil building energy efficiency include a theoretical value label and an actual value label. To date, no actual value label has been certified. The reasons include:
lack of experiences in on-site monitoring of building energy efficiency;
data monitoring is complex; it needs continuous monitoring over one year so the cost is rather high;
How to show the theoretical value and actual value in the final label would also be a problem if there is a big difference between the two values.
The following measures have been undertaken to overcome the barriers
A technical standard for energy efficiency evaluation labelling is under development. It will address the current implementation difficulties, standardize evaluation of actual values, and develop an approach to link the labelling with the existing building energy efficiency standards more smoothly.
From 2009 to 2011, MOHURD organized four evaluations for civil building energy efficiency label. There were 125 projects certified in total, 19 buildings with 3-stars, 53 buildings with 2-stars and 53 buildings with 1-star. For example, Zhongguancun International Mall in Changping district of Beijing, Fujian Plaza in Tianjin, Vanke headquarters in Shenzhen, Gaoloujincun reform in Tongzhou district of Beijing, Main building of Guangzhou Science Center, etc. The number of civil building energy efficiency labels is expected to grow, since the technical standard of the building energy efficiency label has come into force since 1st March 2013. Meanwhile, a new administrative measure targeting wider application is being prepared and will be published soon.
However, the energy saving figure doesn’t show on the label certificate (figure in the summary) for each project. The IBR Building was in the first batch of approved 3-star projects. The following figure shows the contents of the certificate (including basic information and energy efficiency information for a building).
The completed and ongoing projects are mainly demo projects, which obtained incentive funds from the government. As the labelling system develops further, the evaluation agencies will gradually charge certain fees (not determined yet).
The combination of energy efficiency evaluation label and demo projects, such as sustainable energy application, large-scale public building and existing building retrofits, provides a good policy & technical platform for China’s building energy efficiency. The benefit will surely surpass the cost of policy making and implementation.