Primary Energy Factor (PEF) and energy performance of buildings

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The role of the Primary Energy Factor (PEF) in determining the energy performance of buildings


In this BPIE policy brief publication;


BPIE proposes using delivered energy as the main building performance indicator to determine and set requirements for its energy performance.

BPIE argues that the current approach, using the Primary Energy Factors (PEFs) is detrimental to understanding the real energy performance of a building.

The PEF describes the efficiency of converting energy from primary sources (e.g. coal, crude oil) to a secondary energy carrier (e.g. electricity, natural gas) that provides energy services delivered to end-users. As Member States have flexibility in setting its value, it has become a political decision, with a direct negative impact on the actual energy consumption of a building.

According to BPIE, a good indicator should be in line with the mandate of the EPBD of first reducing energy demand and then covering the remaining needs. Using the calculated delivered energy rather than primary energy would put into practice the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ principle. Moreover, it would be consumer-friendly making energy performance more understandable and relevant as it would be closely related to running costs. In the end, delivered energy reaches the consumer’s door and is what he/she is paying for.

BPIE’s proposed solution will ensure that future requirements for new and renovated buildings will focus on the real energy performance of the building stock.