Statements of successfull STO-makers
Our common target is to tackle all the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities to achieve a real sustainability, both for the municipal administration and the neighbors of our municipality. In this point, Solar Thermal Energy is a very important potential for our municipality. The Solar Thermal Obligation will contribute to regulate, guide and enhance the development of these systems, increasing the use of energy coming from renewable resources and reducing CO2 emissions.

Mrs. Adela Martínez Cachá - Deputy Mayor for Environment and Urban Quality at the City Council of Murcia (SP). Vice-President of the Local Agency for Energy and Climate Change  of Murcia.

Today, energy is a part of everyday life! As leaders in our community, we have the obligation to set an example of good practice in the areas of energy saving and renewable energy use, so that citizens would acknowledge the importance of each gesture intended to contribute to the health of the planet.

Eng. Lucian ILIESCU – Mayor of Giurgiu Municipality (RO)
“Solar thermal has enormous potential and low costs. Our challenge in Lazio is to convince people of the advantages deriving from its use.”

Mr. Filiberto Zaratti - Regional Minister for Environment and Cooperation among Peoples, Lazio Region (IT)

Solar energy will be
the “sun of energy”!

Professor Eduardo de Oliveira Fernandes - Secretary of State for Environment (Portuguese Government, 1984-1985), Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy for Energy and Innovation (Portuguese Government, 2001-2002), former Chairman of the Commission for Buildings Thermal Regulations at the CSOPT  (Portuguese Ministry of Public Works, 2002-2006)

Our justifiably ambitious climate protection goals are reachable. However, this needs active combatants. With the provided regulations we found a passable way for on one hand making an effective contribution to reducing CO2-emmissions and on the other hand not overburden the single citizen. People do follow, because they feel, that we have to act for protecting the climate.

Tanja Gönner - Minister for the Environment of the State of Baden-Württemberg (DE)

STO Database

Detail View:Portuguese Regulation on Thermal Performance of Buildings (RCCTE)


Adene (National Energy Agency)


The RCCTE imposes the usage of solar thermal collectors for hot water production if there are favourable conditions for exposure (if the roof or cover runs between SE and SW without significant obstructions), in a basis of 1m2 per person (the total can be reduced up to 50%).
Other important requirements of the Portuguese STO defined within RCCTE are the following:
- For performance calculation of such systems, the product certification according to the European Standards is needed.
- This performance calculation is done using a programme developed by INETI, the SolTerm code.
- The installers of these systems must also be certified installers.
- The solar system must be guaranteed by a six year maintenance contract, covering the whole solar thermal system.

Ordinance Facts
Ordinance titlePortuguese Regulation on Thermal Performance of Buildings
Type of ordinancerenewable heat law
Starting dateJuly 2007 (1st phase); July 2008 (2nd phase)
Geographical areaPortugal (national level)
No. of inhabitants, area10 millions, 92,389 km²

All buildings.

Technology priorities

Solar thermal.

Size of the solar heating system required1 m2 per person
Alternative measuresThe regulation accepts also other renewable energy sources (PV, biomass, wind, geothermal, etc.).
Executing authorityBuilding certification: qualified expert; building permits: local authorities
Execution mechanism

The compliance with the law is to be verified by a qualified expert and the process shall be presented to ADENE (or AREAM, for the Madeira island), which emits a certificate.

Development and Implementation

In 2006, the legislation transposing the EU Directive 2002/91/CE (EPBD) was concluded and this was the final step for the implementation of the first solar thermal obligation in Portugal. This obligation is integrated in the new Portuguese Thermal Performance Building Regulation (RCCTE).


- To reduce the Portuguese energetic dependence,
- To increase the energy efficiency and to reduce the CO2 emissions
- To reduce the energy cost, and to increase the service quality


The law was developed through a top-down approach, initiated by political decision makers. Hearings have been carried out with professional associations (architects, engineers, and technical engineers), housing construction companies, etc, in a public discussion, with special open sessions with all the stakeholders.


The law was enacted in April 2006. The preparation phase, including a Government change, had an approximate duration of 3 years and 6 months.

Quality schemes productyes
Quality schemes installationno
Quality schemes otheryes
Flanking measures

Courses for installers and dissemination campaigns on good practices.
Certification scheme for installers.


Check of the overall design process concerning the Thermal Performance of the Building.
Check after the building construction.

Sanctioning feesNo
Costs for implementing

Not available

Monitoring and Results

Copies of building energy certificates are centrally collected.

Quantitative results

By the end of August 2008, Design Regulation Conformity Declarations / Energetic Performance and Interior Air Quality Certificates had been registered.

Costs borne by the enduserThe known surplus cost are related to the certification process reported above.
Effects on other sectors

Not available.


All information concerning the SCE Management System is available on line.

Future outlook

A revision of the legislation (SCE, RSECE, and RCCTE) is foreseen for April 2011.

Lessons learned
Barriers faced and overcome

As the Portuguese STO is quite recent, there is not a study on the subject. However, the main barriers were all the natural barriers for all what is new (e.g. new standards for the qualification of products).

Success factors

Simple and understandable law
Freedom of choice between alternatives
Participated process with the stakeholders

Potential for improvement

There are no significant errors. Only it was necessary to clarify some requirements through the answers to FAQs.


To be implemented, a STO needs qualified people, qualified products and qualified enterprises.

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