Energy efficiency has become a global priority, but also in the policies of the European Commission, which Romania has the obligation to implement. The concrete measures of energy efficiency can no longer be postponed at national level, especially in buildings, where we spend 90% of the time. The increase of their energy performance will lead not only to the reduction of bills, but also to the improvement of the health and productivity of the work, thanks to a better quality of the indoor air, said the experts present at the Romania Eficienta Forum, organized by the Energy Policy Group in collaboration with Govnet Conferences.
Some of the most renowned specialists at national and European level debated within the Romania Eficienta Forum, organized in Bucharest, the benefits, but also the difficulties in implementing measures to increase energy efficiency, such as the low level of information of the population, but also the issues of clarity in legislation and institutional capacity of the authorities.
"It is time to put the words in line with the facts in our country, because I do not think we have the luxury of maintaining at a declarative level our projects and intentions related to energy efficiency. It is time to develop concrete tools and programs to finance energy efficiency in Romania, ”said Radu Dudău, director of the Energy Policy Group, a think-tank specialized in energy and coordinator of the project Efficient Romania.
In the five months since the start of the Efficient Romania project, training courses were organized on the topic of energy management for local public administration officials, with reputed speakers, to clarify the opportunities and available tools. Also, there were public information and education actions, as well as conducting a large quantitative survey of public opinion on energy efficiency. In partnership with the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and ANRE. A course will be organized for the training of energy managers, whose role is essential for designing and implementing efficiency measures at local level.
The benefits of energy efficiency are reflected not only in lowering bills, but also in increasing comfort and in a smaller impact on the environment and the consumption of energy resources.
"I think energy efficiency is very important, because energy is the foundation of our lives. We cannot live without heat, electricity, mobility. However, the energy consumed also has an impact on the environment, so we must use it efficiently. As we can see, the younger generations have very demanding expectations from us, ”said Christina Verchere, CEO of OMV Petrom, the sponsor of the Romania Efficientă project.
One in three children lives in unhealthy buildings
In Europe, over 65 million students and nearly 4.5 million teachers spend between 170 and 190 days a year at school and about 70% of this time is spent inside the classroom.
"Ensuring a good indoor climate in schools is essential to protect the educational process of children and their health. The air quality could stimulate the student's performance up to 15%, with a positive effect on the work speed, attention level and concentration ”, said Mihai Moia, Executive Director of the Association for the Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Buildings (ROENEF), one of the the partners involved in the Efficient Romania project.
At European level, one in three children lives in unhealthy buildings, which puts them at high risk of facing unwanted health problems, such as asthma, said the ROENEF representative, citing data from a study conducted in the field - Healthy Homes Barometer 2019.
Labor productivity increases by 12% in a renovated office building
Also, at European level, 80 million workers spend 8 hours each day at the office, said Mariangiola Fabbri, Research Director at the European Institute for Building Performance (BPIE), one of the most important think-tanks. at European level in the field.
"Studies show that poor indoor air quality can significantly affect occupants' health, presence, concentration, or work or learning performance. They also indicate a 12% increase in productivity in a renovated office building, ”said the representative of BPIE, within the Efficient Romania Forum.
Thus, health and energy policies should be coordinated and indicators for collecting energy efficiency data for buildings should include indicators for healthy buildings.
Efficient Romania is a private project of national public interest, carried out by the Energy Policy Group (EPG) in partnership with OMV Petrom, a company that contributes financially with a sponsorship of the program worth 4 million euros until 2022. The project started in summer 2019 and consists of the development of a national multi-annual energy efficiency program, at least until 2022. Efficient Romania aims to support the achievement of Romania's energy efficiency targets assumed at European level in terms of reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency, both through information and education campaigns, as well as by carrying out concrete projects of deep renovation of some public buildings, in different regions of the country.
The main partners of EPG in the Efficient Romania project are the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (UPB), ANRE and the National Organization for Standardization (ASRO). More details can be found on the website romania-eficienta.ro.