UNDP ensures the energy efficiency of residential buildings in the pandemic conditions

May 14, 2020

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The Covid-19 pandemic, the forced shutdown of the most industrial enterprises, and, as a consequence, the economic downturn, exposed many problems in Uzbekistan, associated with, among other things, the irrational energy consumption. At the meeting on May the 4th President Shavkat Mirziyoyev pointed out the need to take urgent measures to optimize energy consumption, to use energy-saving technologies in the design and construction of multi-story buildings, and to improve energy efficiency of social service facilities.

Today in the republic 40% of the generated electricity is used for heating and lighting. For heating of 1 square meter in Uzbekistan, on average, 400 kWh of electricity is used, while in the developed countries it takes 170 kWh.

From 2005 to 2015, the residential and public buildings sector accounted for 34% of primary energy consumption. This amounts to about 16.4 million tons of oil equivalent. The potential for energy savings in the housing sector is 9-10 million tons, in other words, it is possible to reduce consumption by about 20%.

In this regard, our joint project with the Global Environment Fund  and the Ministry of Construction of the Republic of Uzbekistan "Market Transformation for Sustainable Rural Housing in Uzbekistan”, which has been implemented since 2017, deserves due attention. As a result of the project, a reduction in household energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is expected.

Within the framework of our project in Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Ferghana, Khorezm and Bukhara regions there have been constructed 800 three-room уenergy-efficient houses with low energy consumption. In each of these houses, photovoltaic stations (PVS) with 300-Watt capacity for lighting needs, have been installed and are currently operational. In 10 of these houses solar water heaters with the capacity of 200 litres have been installed.  

Reducing energy consumption in these houses is also achieved through the use of high-quality special building materials, heat insulation of building, window sealing, automatic temperature control of premises, etc.

However, this level of energy consumption of the building lasts from 3 to 5 years and then begins to grow. An energy examination is needed to determine the reasons for this reduction in energy efficiency. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct an energy audit, on average, once every four years.

In 2020-2021, “Market Transformation for Sustainable Rural Housing in Uzbekistan” project is to conduct an energy audit of the constructed standard houses.

During an energy audit, specialists using special equipment examine the energy supply, distribution and consumption systems of buildings and structures. Based on the obtained data, experts will evaluate the current level of energy consumption and its efficiency, explore the possibilities of saving costs on consumed fuel and energy resources, and develop technical, organizational and economic measures to reduce the cost of energy and other resources.

An energy audit will reveal the actual annual consumption of heat and electricity. It will also help determine the level of corresponding greenhouse gas emissions and the costs of residents paid for their energy consumption. The data obtained will help to compare these buildings with typical rural houses built in the framework of the State Program in similar climatic conditions in 2018.

According to a representative of the energy auditing company, fieldwork will take about 8-10 hours in each of the studied houses and will be carried out with the direct participation of homeowners.

Instrumental examination will be carried out using modern measuring equipment to determine the actual indicators of energy consumption and the thermo-technical performance of buildings. At the same time, metering devices available locally will also be used. A thermal imaging of the houses, the main electrical components and the main equipment of the heating systems will be carried out.

In the framework of our joint project 800 energy-efficient houses have been built: 176 houses in the Samarkand region, 185 houses in the Surkhandarya, 206 houses in the Ferghana, 112 houses in the Khorezm and 121 houses in Bukhara regions. Energy audits will cover 60 houses in five pilot areas, as well as standard type houses built within the State Program in 2018. This approach will allow comparing energy-efficient houses with standard ones and analyzing the efficiency of using energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies in reducing heat and electric energy consumption in rural houses.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the projected recession in the global economy, the government of Uzbekistan is focused on the intensive development of the economy, which will require the introduction of new energy capacities, the efficient use of available resources both in industrial facilities and in the residential sector.

The widespread introduction of energy audits and the use of renewable energy sources are two of the significant reserves that have not yet been fully utilized, which in the future will serve to solve the problem of shortages of natural gas and oil, and, according to experts, can save consumer energy costs by half.