Concept and Promotion of Energy Conservation Measures for the Residential and Non-Residential Buildings toward  Decarbonized Society

Concept and Promotion of Energy Conservation Measures for the Residential and Non-Residential Buildings toward  Decarbonized Society

Concept and Promotion of Energy Conservation Measures for the Residential and Non-Residential Buildings toward Decarbonized Society

 

Having a view of “2050 Carbon Neutral” and in the commercial and household sectors accounting for approx. 30% of final energy consumption in Japan, it is imperative for residential and non-residential buildings to further fulfill and enhance efforts for more energy conservation and decarbonization. Based on such understanding, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Ministry of the Environment cooperated and established a “Review Committee on Concept of Energy Conservation Measures for Residences and Buildings toward Decarbonized Society” consisting of the experts and practitioners. This committee is in order to widely discuss the initiatives and policy making in hardware and software aspect in residential and non-residential buildings for realization of a decarbonized society based on the back-casting thinking, looking ahead to 2030 in the medium term and 2050 in the long term. The following outlines the study results summarized in this August. (Editorial Department)

Environment surrounding the Residences and Buildings

  • According to the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report in October 2018, it is necessary to achieve net-zero global CO2 emissions around 2050 in order to prevent a future average temperature rise from exceeding 1.5ºC greatly. 
  • According to the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report, 1st Working Group Report in this August, it is possible to lower the frequency of heavy rain, etc. happening once every 10 years by controlling the temperature rise at 1.5ºC. 
  • Total precipitation of heavy rain in July 2018 is calculated approx. 6.5% higher due to climate change, clearly pointing out that an impact of climate change has been apparent.
  • On Oct. 26, 2020, Prime Minister Suga declared to “aim at realization of carbon neutral, decarbonized society in 2050”.
  • On April 22 this year, Prime Minister Suga made it clear that “the government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46% in FY2030 from FY2013 and continue to challenge for 50% reduction”.

1. Basic Concept of the Approaches for the Realization of Carbon Neutral in 2050

Ensuring and improving the energy efficiency performance and further introduction of renewable energy

(1) Desirable residential and non-residential buildings in 2050 and 2030

[Concept]

Desirable residential and non-residential buildings in 2050
(Energy conservation) Ensure the energy efficiency performance*1 equivalent to the ZEH and ZEB standards on the stock average.
(Renewable energy) Popularize introduction of renewable energy such as solar power generation facilities for the residential and non-residential buildings with effective application of renewable energy.

 

Desirable residential and non-residential buildings in 2030
(Energy conservation) Ensure the energy efficiency performance*2 equivalent to the ZEH and ZEB standards as to newly constructed residential and non-residential buildings.
(Renewable energy) Introduce the solar power generation facilities to 60% of newly constructed detached houses.

 

*1: Condition that primary energy consumption has been reduced approx. 20% from the energy efficiency standards for residential buildings and approx. 30% or 40% for non-residential buildings according to the intended purposes on the stock average, respectively.
*2: Residences: Primary energy consumption is reduced 20% from the current energy efficiency standards values, except for the reinforced thermal envelope standards and renewable energy.
Buildings: Similarly reduced 30% or 40% according to the intended purposes. (20% reduction for small-scale buildings)

(2) Approaches led by the official bodies such as the national and local governments

The government should take the initiative to introduce and expand the thorough energy conservation measures and renewable energy for the residential and non-residential buildings of the official bodies such as the national and local governments.

(3) Necessity to enhance awareness and behavior of the public and business operators

The government should notify as soon as possible the necessity and specific details of approaches so that each person and business operator, not someone else, may understand them as his/her own matter, including the business operators.
The government should notify and disseminate the information on how to comfortably live in residential buildings with high energy efficiency performance, information obtained by the method of “Behavioral economics”, and so on.

(4) The function of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

The ministry should independently challenge thorough energy conservation in the residential and non-residential buildings sector, and introduction and expansion of renewable energy with responsibility.

Particularly, it should promote dissemination of the ZEH with ultimate responsibility as the ministry having jurisdiction over residential administration.

2. Promotion of the measures necessary to realize the carbon neutrality in 2050

Ⅰ. Household and commercial sectors (Enhancement of the energy conservation measures for residential and non-residential buildings)

1) Raising the level of the energy efficiency performance

  • Non-residential and residential buildings mandatorily to conform to the energy efficiency standards, including residential buildings <FY2025>
  • Supports to improve technical capabilities of immature business operators, including provision of on-the-job trainings for insulation work
  • Conformance to the energy efficiency standards to be required as the condition for applying to government supporting measures for new construction
    (After the measures in 2))
  • Gradually upgrading the energy efficiency standards, starting from large-scale buildings, whose standard has already been mandatory, to small-scale ones.
  • Upgrading by 2030 at latest the present mandatory energy efficiency standards to the more stringent energy efficiency standard*3 equivalent to the ZEH and ZEB standards, when a conformance rate to the certification standards, 20% higher efficiency for non-residential and 10% higher for residential buildings than the mandatory standard, exceeds 80%,

 

*3: Residences: Tighter envelope standards + 20% less the reference primary energy consumption, which is one of the mandatory standard.
Buildings: 30% or 40% less the reference primary energy consumption according to the types of the building (20% for small-scale buildings)

 

2) Improvement of the energy efficiency performance as volume in building groups

  • Upgrading the certification standards specified in the Building Energy Conservation Act, the certification standards for long-term quality residential buildings, low-carbon buildings, etc. to the more stringent energy efficiency performance standard equivalent to the ZEH and ZEB standards, and making them consistent each other.
  • Making the certification standards a principle as to the newly constructed non-residential buildings and residential buildings of the national and local governments, etc.
  • Continuing to promote the support for the ZEH, ZEB, etc.
  • Promoting and enhancing a top runner program for residential buildings (adding condominiums and upgrading the top runner standards to the higher energy efficiency performance standard equivalent to the ZEH standard)

 

3) Enhancement of the approaches to realize higher energy efficiency performance

  • Promoting approaches to disseminate high energy performance residential buildings such as ZEH+, LCCM houses
  • Making the multi-level standards of building envelop insulation performance for the residential buildings ranked as a higher grade in the energy efficiency performance labeling system of residential buildings

 

4) Improvement of the energy efficiency performance of equipment and construction materials by strengthening a top runner program for equipment and construction materials

 

5) Development of the energy efficiency performance labeling system

  • Studying and implementing the measures to provide with the information on the energy efficiency performance for the existing stocks in order to make it mandatory to display the energy efficiency performance in advertisement, etc. for selling and renting newly constructed residential and non-residential buildings

 

6) The policy-making and implementation of energy efficiency renovation for existing building stock

  • Promoting well-planned energy efficiency renovation for non-residential and residential buildings of the national and local governments, etc.
  • Guiding promotion of energy efficiency renovation and reconstruction in line with seismic renovation
  • Promoting energy efficiency renovation such as window renovation and partial insulation renovation
  • Continuing and expanding support for energy efficiency renovation in cooperation with the local governments
Ⅱ. Energy transition issue (Expansion of renewable energy introduction)

It is significant to expand utilization of the renewable energy and unused energy according to local situations such as utilization of solar power generation, solar and geothermal heat, and biomass.

 

1) Utilization of solar power generation

  • As of installation of solar power generation facilities, they raised the issue on the mandatory installation of the facility, but the necessity of expansion of its introduction is commonly understood in the meeting.
  • Making efforts, studying every possibility, to promote its installation in consideration of the future mandatory installation of the solar power generation facility as one of options 
  • The national and local governments should have the immediate initiative to install its facilities (standardization for new construction, etc.)
  • The relevant government agencies and relevant industries should disseminate the appropriate information  through their cooperation and establish a mechanism to communicate information with construction clients on installation of the renewable energy facilities.
  • Continuing and  fulfilling the subsidies for the ZEH, ZEB, etc., particularly, loan and tax exemption for the ZEH, etc.
  • Review of the certification (target) standards for low-carbon buildings (requirement for the ZEH and ZEB introducing renewable energy)
  • Establishing a PPA model reassuring consumers and business owners
  • Realization of the model regions, etc. through financial support for the development of advanced decarbonized regions. In light of these efforts, considering necessary measures , including an institutional one, while taking into account the differences in regional and location conditions, and so on.
  • Further lowering of costs as well as developing technologies including storage batteries.


2) Utilization of and areal approaches to other renewable energy and unused energy

  • Expanding utilization of solar energy utilization facilities, etc. expected to reduce a hot water supply load
  • Promoting areal and flexible utilization of electrical and thermal energy by multiple residential and non-residential buildings
  • Taking a measure to maintain grid stability, etc. in response to increased variable renewable energy
Ⅲ. Carbon-sink measures (Further utilization of wood)
  • Further rationalizing the building standards for wooden buildings, etc.
  • Taking the initiative to construct wooden or lignified public buildings
  • Promoting construction of wooden private non-residential buildings and mid-to-high-rise residential buildings
  • Supporting the promotion of system improvement to secure stable supply of wood