FEATURE – Lessons Learned from Chinese Best Practices on Energy Efficiency
August 22, 2012 - A new report entitled Building Energy Efficiency Policies in China: Status Report was released jointly by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN), the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This is the first report of this kind issued internationally that provides a comprehensive English summary of Chinese studies on building energy policies in China.
In China, an estimated 2 billion square meters of new buildings is added each year. The total area of existing buildings in 2010 amounts to 48 billion square meters. In the context of this unprecedented construction boom, this new report provides a unique opportunity to learn from Chinese best practices on building energy efficiency.
“The report, compiled from several years of CSEP-funded building energy reports and studies, fills an important knowledge gap; it contains key data and provides a unique insight on Chinese building energy policies that is in demand internationally,” explained Dr. Peter Graham, executive director of GBPN.
“Over the years, due to the language barrier, there is huge imbalance between Chinaʼs volume of construction and its voice in the international dialogue on building energy policies,” said Dr. Kevin Mo, CSEPʼs China Buildings Program director. “And we are happy to partner with GBPN and ACEEE to tap into the significant amount of information generated by CSEPʼs grantees and partners, who are key policy researchers at Chinaʼs national and local levels. This report facilitates exchanges of international best practices.”
Five major building policy aspects in China are reviewed in the report: building energy performance, building energy efficiency policies for new buildings and for existing buildings, application of renewable energy to buildings, and rural building energy use.
The report points out concrete examples of success stories in China rarely known to the international community. “There is a strong and consistent regulatory support from the central government in China to establish relatively comprehensive policy packages for new buildings,” noted Dr. Shui Bin, report co-author and ACEEE senior researcher.
China has developed a system of building energy codes, building energy efficiency labeling and evaluation, and green building labeling to improve building energy efficiency in new buildings.
For existing buildings, the report introduced building energy efficiency policies and practices targeted at residential, governmental and large-scale public buildings, colleges and universities, including heating reform and energy-efficient retrofitting in Northern China, where there is a greater need for residential heating.
“Though progress has been notable, there are still many challenges that need to be tackled,” said Dr. Shui Bin, “including rising building energy consumption, updating building energy codes, the need for relevant stakeholders to build more capacity, and the enormous challenge of promoting building energy efficiency in rural areas.”
This report describes future directions in China, and provides valuable insights to the global community on what can be learned from Chinese best practices for energy efficient buildings, and how important these are to effectively avoid GHG emissions from the building sector and help tackle climate change.
CLICK HERE to view the report.