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:Local Building Energy Standards in Ireland.

Some Counties of Ireland.

The different County Councils.


Starting at the end of 2005, a number of progressive local authorities introduced building energy standards as part of planning requirements in their jurisdiction. These building energy standards require a substantial increase in the energy performance of new buildings (between 40% and 60% reduction in energy usage) as well as a mandatory contribution of renewable energy to their thermal energy requirement.
What is more, a new regulation al national level has been introduced in 2008. This shows clearly that the local energy standards adopted by several counties were a positive experience.

Ordinance Facts
Ordinance titleLocal Building Energy Standards in Ireland.
Type of ordinancerenewable heat law
Starting dateThe first County was Fingal in February 2005.
DurationNo closing foreseen.
Geographical areaSeveral Counties in Ireland.
No. of inhabitants, area

New building developments, or non-residential new buildings, or new housing developments, or new housing developments > 10 houses & non-residential > 1000 m2.

Technology priorities

Not defined in details.

Size of the solar heating system requiredNot defined (not solar thermal regulation).
Alternative measuresNot defined in details.
Executing authorityCounty Administration.
Execution mechanism
Development and Implementation

The Irish system is very centralised and local authorities have limited power and resources. The 26 County Councils are the most influential organ at a local level, including: planning, housing, waste management, water services, etc. Until recently, national government had exclusivity in terms of defining energy standards for buildings.


Different targets for the Counties, e.g.  on energy demand (maximum level or reduction), on CO2 emissions reduction or on renewable energy share (20-30%).


Until 2005, national government had exclusivity in defining energy standards for buildings. This position was challenged in 2005 by a group of local councillors from the Green Party who put a motion to Fingal County Council for the introduction of improved building energy standards in the Local Area Plan (LAP) for the Cappagh Road. After much debate, this proposal was adopted by the Council.


The Cappagh Local Area Plan was voted in October 2005. Two months later, it was extended two more Local Area Plans. The new national ordinance will be active by July 2009.

Quality schemes productno
Quality schemes installationno
Quality schemes otherno
Flanking measures

-support for the installation of solar thermal (300 Euro/m2)
-information help desk
-information of public personnel
-training of technicians


Within the Greener Homes Scheme a technical assessment is required.
Random controls of plants is foreseen.

Sanctioning feesNot defined.
Costs for implementing

No information available.

Monitoring and Results

No information available.

Quantitative results

Different for the Counties, e.g.
- reduction in energy demand and avoided CO2 emissions
- increase in renewable energy supply
- uptake of active solar thermal systems

Costs borne by the enduserNo information available.
Effects on other sectors

Solar thermal in Ireland is currently undergoing a real boom, showing a trend of rapid growth, close to 100%/year. It is estimated that over 10,000 m2 were installed in the last year.


No information available.

Future outlook


Lessons learned
Barriers faced and overcome

The process started in 2005 by Fingal County Council, and rapidly followed by other local authorities, has had a dramatic impact on the standards of energy performance of buildings in Ireland. First and foremost, it has moved the agenda of building energy standards setting away from central government firmly into the hands of local government.

Success factors

-local authorities have ability and legal right to impose higher standards in energy performance of buildings
-energy standards give economic benefits at no cost for the government

Potential for improvement

The resistence of the construction sector, focused on quantity, very often at the expense of quality, in the process of upgrading Irish Building Regulations, should be overcome.


Building energy standards should be introduced in the planning process for retrofits and extensions to existing buildings.

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