ENERGY AUDIT: A TOOL FOR DECISION MAKINGMar 16, 2017
A reliable energy supply is one of the most important tasks of the Government of Turkmenistan on its way to achieving economic growth and providing the population with comfortable living conditions. In this regard, it is vital to ensure energy saving and energy efficiency in the residential buildings sector, which consumes an essential part of energy resources, i.e. gas, electricity and thermal energy.
The UNDP/GEF project “Improving Energy Efficiency in the Residential Building Sector of Turkmenistan” implemented jointly with the Government of Turkmenistan supported a complex of measures on increasing energy savings potential in the existing residential buildings of Turkmenistan. One of the ways of realizing the energy saving potential is to introduce energy efficiency activities in multistory buildings. Based on the preliminary research, those activities allow saving up to 38% of the energy.
In this regard, energy audit of buildings provides an opportunity to assess the feasibility of the activities aimed at the energy savings, ensure economic efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. As a result, it allows proper “diagnosis” and effective “treatment” of the building to make it more energy efficient.
The results of the final energy audit report are included into the energy passport which becomes a document reflecting the current heating and thermal parameters of the building, as well as their compliance with the applied building codes and the energy efficiency certification of the building. It is needed to highlight that the building code of Turkmenistan “Building thermal engineering”, which is revised with the support of the UNDP/GEF project, includes the requirement of obtaining the energy passports for the buildings to be constructed or planned for renovation.
For implementation of the energy audit, the UNDP/GEF project developed the Methodology for energy audit in residential buildings and piloted energy audits in 22 residential buildings in 9 cities of Turkmenistan. Those residential buildings are located in different climatic conditions, which allows evaluating the effects of applied energy saving technics in different climatic zones.
During the energy audit, the buildings’ engineering systems were checked through the express method of defining the thermal power consumption for heating where thermal imaging screening revealed heat leakage. As a result of the preliminary energy inspections, it was discovered that the average consumption of thermal energy for heating and ventilation in the pilot buildings is about 315 kWh/m2 which indicates a significant potential of energy savings.
To improve energy efficiency, the following measures were offered which can be implemented during the renovation works of the buildings.
1. Installation of the heat reflectors behind heating installations
2. Creating additional doors in the porches
3. Insulation of the external closing facades
4. Replacement of the windows with energy efficient ones
5. Installation of the automatic heat control system in the building
The estimates indicated that introduction of the set of energy efficiency measures can reduce the average energy consumption for heating and cooling by 64 kWh/m2 and the electricity consumption by 18.5 kWh/m2 per year. In average, the consumption of the thermal energy for heating in the existing residential buildings can be reduced by 57%.
The energy audit allowed generating the experience and skills in energy inspections of the existing residential buildings. Those skills were used to develop a set of teaching modules for the seminars for specialists of communal services. In 2015, the UNDP/GEF project conducted a series of trainings in five regions of Turkmenistan to prepare local cadres to implement energy audit.
To continue developing the practice of regular energy audit in residential buildings of Turkmenistan, the project has developed an “Instruction for energy audit in residential buildings.”
The construction field has its own established regulations, norms and is being developed accordingly. However, the energy audit is the new concept to be launched from scratch. The first step in this direction has been made – the legal basis is established and 100 national experts in each region on the country are trained to implement energy audits of buildings.