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POWER HOUSE Cold/Continental Climates TaskForce Workshop & Study Visits: Video clip now available online!

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On 4th & 5th December 2013, the members of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge Cold/Continental Climates TaskForce met in Wiesbaden (Germany) to discuss cost-optimal levels of energy efficiency investments, which basically means the appropriate ratio between energy savings and investment costs. A key challenge is indeed, to be able to compare the actual energy consumptions of various building typologies against actual investment costs in order to guide the decisions of project promoters about what kind of measures they have to undertake, but also to influence the future national energy standards that will have to be put in place as a requirement of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD). Participants also had the opportunity to enjoy the presentations of two IEE running projects - EnerPHit andENTRANZE - and to explore potential synergies with them.

The meeting was followed by a study visit to a project site where both nearly-Zero Energy and Passive House standard blocks where under construction. The comparison of 4 strictly identical buildings, 2 built under the German national energy performance standard (EnEV) and 2 built at the passive house standard, led to the conclusion that even in including the extra energy savings made by the passive house standards, the cost of passive house is around 10% higher than nearly zero-energy buildings. This extra cost needs to be compensated by either the increase of the rent (not always possible for regulatory reasons) or increase of the invested capital. According to this project of the Wiesbaden Housing Company GWW, the most cost efficient way to use financial resources would be to design low energy buildings, but not zero-energy buildings, and to strike the carbon balance with on-site production of energy. Those results confirm the relevance of CECODHAS Housing Europe position regarding the 2030 Energy and Climate Policies which emphasises the key role of finance and decentralised energy production.

To find out more, please watch the video of the Workshop and Study Visits here: