The need for an energy-efficient housing sector is stronger than ever. In the UNECE region, buildings are responsible for approximately one third of total final energy consumption. Three quarters of this energy consumption is by the residential sector. Improving the energy performance of residential buildings goes hand-in-hand with enhancing living conditions and reducing energy bills for residents. It also contributes to reducing fuel poverty and mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions while creating employment.
Solutions for energy-efficient housing exist: using technology that is already available can reduce a building’s energy consumption by 30 to 50 per cent without greatly increasing investment costs. Yet achieving energy efficiency in residential buildings remains a major challenge for countries in the UNECE region. A UNECE survey on housing and land management revealed that this challenge is a priority for countries in the region. National and local governments have a key role in addressing this challenge by creating the conditions that enable home owners, residents, banks or the private sector to take action for energy-efficient housing.
The Albanian Government is currently addressing this priority by launching work on a national roadmap for an energy-efficient residential sector and harmonizing its legislation on energy efficiency and the energy performance of buildings. This work is being done by the Ministry of energy and industry and the Ministry of urban development and tourism with the assistance of UNECE, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
As part of this collaborative process a two-day workshop on, “Energy efficient housing for sustainable development”, was organized on 7 and 8 July 2014 in Tirana by the Albanian Government in cooperation with UNECE, IFC and UNDP.
This workshop aims to: 1) raise the awareness of stakeholders in Albania of the benefits of energy-efficient housing; 2) inform them about the country’s obligations to reduce energy consumption in the residential sector as a part of Albania’s accession to the European Union; and 3) to discuss possible next steps to improve energy efficiency in Albania.
The workshop was opened by Ms. Eglantina Gjermeni, Minister of Urban Development and Tourism, and Mr. Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Energy and Industry. According to Ms. Gjermeni, “The ministry’s strategy envisages that every new house in Albania should be in compliance with energy efficiency measures. The national housing agency is already adapting its projects to comply with this requirement. Existing housing shall be refurbished to become more energy efficient. The ministry intends to develop new building codes to ensure energy efficiency in housing in the long-term. Condominium associations should become effective in the management and maintenance of their properties.”
As an outcome of this workshop, a national roadmap for an energy-efficient residential sector will be developed.
UNECE has developed a number of tools that Albania will be using to support their work on energy efficiency including: an Action Plan for Energy-Efficient Housing in the UNECE Region, which provides a comprehensive list of possible measures to remove barriers to energy efficiency and move towards a low-energy and, ultimately, zero-energy and carbon-neutral housing sector; and two practical guides on, Green Homes: Towards Energy Efficient Housing and Good Practices for Energy-Efficient Housing in the UNECE Region. UNECE also assists member States to develop their national action plans and supports workshops, such as this one, on energy efficiency and housing management.
For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=35997 or contact:
Head, Housing and Land Management Unit
Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Land Management Division
Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 22 57
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
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