Cyprus has incorporated into its national law an EU Directive (2010/31/EU) which aims to improve the energy performance of buildings while taking into account the external climatic conditions and indoor climate requirements.
A series of laws imposed on the construction of new buildings combined with the installation of photovoltaic systems in homes, business and government buildings have significantly contributed to Cyprus coming closer to meeting its goals set regarding energy consumed by buildings.
After a series of laws and amendments introduced by parliament, new buildings built after 31 December 2018 will have to be issued an Energy Performance Certificate classifying them as Energy efficiency class B.
The government will have to enhance incentive packages given to people to upgrade their homes as costs are prohibitive for an average household and should seek further financing from the EU.
Building design also plays a crucial factor to reach a near zero-energy building, such as designing the building face north and south without windows opening to the east and west.
Another method is to install a pipe-system at the foundation of the building so that it pumps cool water through the whole building keeping it cool and thus bringing down the electricity bill for air conditioning. Another way is planting on the buildings’ roofs.
Nonetheless, while the state is regulating new buildings with legislation and energy performance certificates, it appears to have fallen behind on its own obligations towards the EU and targets set for 2020.
Green MP Charalampos Theopemptou said that upgrading government buildings should have been a priority as the state would contribute to the country meeting its overall environmental goals, but unfortunately little has been done.
He reminded that students at schools are complaining about not having cooling systems in classrooms as, according to the Ministry of Education, the state cannot afford the estimated EUR 10 mln bill for air conditioning.
However, the Green MP said the government could have upgraded schools with insulation works and other innovative measures without needing to install any other air-cooling systems.
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