• Client: GIZ
  • Implementation period: 2015 - 2016 (Completed)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union

Should Ireland implement minimum thermal efficiency standards for rental properties?

The aim of this project, led by Element Energy, was to evaluate the feasibility and impact of setting minimum thermal efficiency performance standards in properties offered for rent or lease in the residential and commercial sectors in an efficient manner.

The study proposed three potential policy options for minimum thermal efficiency standards appropriate for the Irish situation:
1. A phased policy approach from “E” to “C” rated properties, constituting a soft start minimum of “E” ratings by 2020 followed by a regulatory backstop minimum requirement of “C” ratings by 2030
2. A phased policy approach from “E” to “D” to “C” rated properties, constituting a soft start minimum of “E” ratings by 2020, a minimum of “D” ratings by 2025, and a regulatory backstop minimum requirement of “C” ratings by 2030
3. A high compliance approach with a soft start minimum of “C” ratings by 2020, followed by a regulatory backstop minimum requirement of “C” ratings by 2030

The report assessed the different impacts of each of these options quantifying the number of buildings likely to be affected, the associated energy and carbon savings and associated costs/benefits as well as wider issues including employment, health and productivity, as well as the likely administrative burden and skills needs.

The main results for the residential sector are:

    • From 175 000 buildings impacted (option 3) to 255 000 buildings impacted (option 2)
    • Up to 140 million Euros bill savings
    • Up to 740 GWh final energy savings (or 980 GWh primary energy savings)
    • Up to 270 ktCO2 emission savings
    • With a total CAPEX of 650 million Euros (options 1 & 2) or 670 million Euros (option 3)

The three options (applied to both residential and commercial buildings) could save circa 26 million Euros on energy bills and 400 ktCO2 emissions in 2030.