NZEB Explained – Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
NZEB, meaning Nearly Zero Energy Building, is a building with a very low (if not zero) energy consumption. This means the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is almost equal (if not equal) to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or renewable energy sources elsewhere nearby.
In Ireland on 20th January 2017 Minister Simon Coveney signed into Irish Law the requirement to meet NZEB as part of Building Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2017; and defined the term ‘Nearly Zero-Energy Building’ to mean ‘a building that has a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with the Annex I to Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast) (O.J. No. L 153, 18.6.2010. page 13). The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extend by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.’
Under Directive 2010/31/EU it is required that all new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities shall be nearly zero energy buildings after 31 December 2018, and all other buildings by 31 December 2020.
Residential buildings: The Irish Government is implementing the Energy Performance Building Directive 2010 Recast through revised building regulations for homes which are proposed to come into force on 1st April 2019. This means that any dwelling receiving planning permission after 1st April should meet the nZEB standard. Substantial completion must have been achieved by 1st April 2020. After 2020 all homes irrespective of when they received planning permission should achieve the new standard.
The new proposed TGD Part L, Conservation of Fuel and Energy – Dwellings has been published and can be found on Department website, TGD-L Dwellings