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Why are we so concerned about energy saving in buildings?

Why does all the focus now seem to be on the energy performance of buildings? Well, the short answer is that buildings happen to use and, in many instances, also waste a lot of energy. In the EU, buildings account for almost 40% of energy consumed and the resulting CO₂ that is released into the atmosphere

Energy resources such as fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. It is now generally accepted that the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming and changes in weather patterns, often resulting in extremely adverse climate-related events.

The EU is leading the way in addressing the climate change issue. Since 2002, the EU has introduced policies and directives which require member states to become more energy efficient and consider alternative and more sustainable energy sources.

There is also concern about energy security and over-reliance on limited and expensive energy imports. In Ireland, we import approximately €6 billion of energy a year to meet our needs. Data for the EU shows that in 2011, only three other countries were more dependent on imported energy than Ireland. Reducing this consumption is in the national interest and buildings have a significant role to play.

Throughout June, we will be sharing information with you about energy efficiency in buildings, including discussions about important concepts like airtightness and thermal bridging, definitions and useful links.

And be sure to let us know if you have any specific questions you want answered!

(If you are a building construction worker and would like to know more, take a look at the FREE Foundation Energy Skills course.)

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