Case Study 20: Building energy audits project

May 26, 2009

siltinata_daugavpils.jpgEnergy audits supported for residential multiapartment buildings.

2003-, Latvia

households, building managers


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Summary of the case

During the last 5 years, the Construction, Energy and Housing State Agency has been providing support for energy audits. The goal of the support is to provide information to end-users about the energy effi-ciency level in their buildings and to promote adequate energy efficient measures. 

The support was managed by the Construction, Energy and Housing State Agency and includes the following activities:

  • for 8 buildings: co-financing 50 % of energy audit costs in 2003;
  • for 27 buildings: co-financing 100 % ; and for 10 buildings: co-financing 50% of energy costs in 2004;
  • for 103 buildings: co-financing 55 % of energy audit costs in 2005;
  • for 60 buildings: co-financing 50% of energy audit costs in 2006.

The existing housing stock in Latvia has a significant potential for energy savings, as regards multifamily houses, but there have not been many refurbishments projects implemented until now. Technologies and possible energy efficient measurements are well known, but, due to different reasons, the process of implementing an energy efficiency project is not simple. For example, particular complications arise when all flat owners have to agree on the project layout and organize common activities. The main barriers that did not allow continuing comprehensive renovation of buildings are:

  • Lack of knowledge about the possibilities to save energy;
  • Lack of experience in reaching a common decision;
  • Distrust of banks, neighbours and housing management companies;
  • Low energy price;

The Construction, Energy and Housing State Agency involved the private sector for sponsoring the project. The projects are successful according to the Construction, Energy and Housing State Agency, but only some of the buildings have implemented energy efficient measures after the energy audits. There were no specific targets defined for the project, for example, it was not stated how many buildings would be renovated based on the results of the energy audits. Any specific targets for behavioural changes are not considered in this project. The only actual target was to provide a grant for carrying out a set of energy audits. On the other hand, one of the aims of the project was to distribute information about energy effi-ciency in buildings. This target was reached, as several workshops were organized in different parts of Latvia.