NECESSARY AMENDMENTS TO STIMULATE DEMAND FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT CONSTRUCTION
➢ PROJECTS TO PROMOTE COMPANY COMPETITIVENESS (03.09.2021, во 12:25:23)
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NECESSARY AMENDMENTS TO STIMULATE DEMAND FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT CONSTRUCTION

Strengthening the capacities and competitiveness of the member companies is one of the major efforts of the Economic Chamber, being the oldest and largest business association in the country. Through these efforts, we implement projects in the interest of the business community to provide support for specific economic sectors and companies in order to help them promote the work process, develop their technology and labor capacities, and to create innovative products and services that are needed and meet the requirements for sale on the European market.

Construction is one of the drivers of the Macedonian economy, covering 7.2% of the active business entities and 6.7% of the employees in the country. Apart from the direct impact on the economy, construction engages roughly twenty other business sectors. Projects such as SeeTheSkills that target the construction sector and aim to stimulate the demand for energy efficient skills in the sector contribute to the development of sustainable and competitive construction that delivers many benefits to the economy, state and society.

The SEEtheSkills project will be carried out in the following three years in partnership with 10 entities from 5 countries: North Macedonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the Netherlands, with the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia being the main implementation partner. The Project aims to achieve better visibility, access and recognition of the energy skills among partner countries through cross-validation based on learning outcomes, while applying a novel 3V approach (visible, validated, valuable) to directly stimulate market demand for energy efficiency skills in the construction sector.

The current legal framework that regulates and defines the term “energy efficient construction” in our country is the Law on Energy Efficiency (Official Gazette of the RNM No. 32/2020 and 110/2021) was adopted last year, transposing the provisions from Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency and Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings.The Law itself defines the term energy efficiency as proportion between the achieved useful performance and the energy input to achieve this useful performance. The Law also defines the terms “energy performance of buildings”, “energy performance certificate”, “energy control” and moreover, the Law distinguishes between 1) energy efficiency in public sector, 2) energy efficiency during transmission, distribution and energy supply, and 3) energy efficiency of buildings. However, the Law does not define the term “energy efficient construction.” Thereby, we can note that the current regulations lack specific definition of the term energy efficient construction and it is linked to building construction, being one of the construction segments, that is, with buildings as structures from the building construction segment, while the requirements for building efficiency are regulated in detail by the Rulebook on Energy Performance of Buildings.  

The energy efficiency policy, according to current regulations, is a constituent part of the policies in the area of energy, economy, sustainable development and environmental protection, and it is implemented via measures and activities concerning efficient energy use.

Consequently, energy efficient construction is currently a part of the policies in the area of energy, and the competent ministry in this sector is the Ministry of Economy. Even during the development of this significant Law, the Association of Construction, Building Materials and Non-metal Industries indicated that the regulations that cover the energy efficiency of buildings/structures, including the installations, should be within the purview of the Law on Construction.

According to the business sector, the Law on Energy Efficiency should determine the legal framework and the course at a strategic level, and in this regard, the Law should regulate and impose obligations, foremost to public sector entities, to entities that sell, distribute and supply energy, manufacture or sell products that spend energy, provide services that improve the energy efficiency, “large enterprises”, irrespective of the sector they come from, considering that they are believed to bear particular social responsibility, including saving and efficient use of energy, as well as to the state bodies in terms of adopting strategies, documents, and measures to stimulate energy efficiency and exercise control over their implementation.

The energy efficiency of structures that are being designed, constructed or reconstructed in turn, regardless of their type, residential or “industrial and commercial”, should be regulated by the Law on Construction, following the example of certain regional countries (Croatia), , as an issue within the competence of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, according to the business sector, and the details of the operation should be regulated with bylaws (rulebooks), considering that the procedures for adopting and amending bylaws have been simplified in accordance with the requirements and the situation on field, and are within the competence of the ministries. The reason for this is the fact that the design, audit, supervision and construction are regulated in the Law on Construction, and the control over the operation of the participants in the construction is assumed by appropriate inspection services from the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the units of local self-government.

Drawing from the aforementioned, and considering that announcements of adoption of a new Law on Construction exist for a longer time and an initial draft version has been prepared, the first recommendation for the institutions would be to examine, in consultation with the business community, the possibility for appropriately defining and treating the issue of energy efficient construction in this essential regulation and in the bylaws toward its implementation, aiming to systematize every  issue that covers the operation of the construction companies into a single legislative act, to ensure its consistent application and thereby, to stimulate the demand for energy efficient construction.

 

Nena Nikolovska, LLM
Expert at the organizational unit for member representation and networking