Action 4.4: Energy efficiency improvements
Energy efficiency actions to reduce the need for heating can rely on regulatory measures, such as building regulations and/or economic incentives to accelerate improved energy efficiency of buildings, more efficient heating technologies, or installation of accumulator tanks with wood boilers that facilitate efficient use of wood. An example here is the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) of the EU.
Measures to improve energy efficiency of buildings include, for instance, insulation and glazing. According to Dubey et al. (2019), energy efficiency in the building stocks is improving – to some extent due to subsidised loans, tax incentives, and energy efficiency funds used to intensify implementation of these measures for privately owned buildings. Insulation and glazing of public buildings are most often regulated via the state. In Russia there is a requirement to perform a specified number of annual insulation and glazing projects for public and multi-family residential buildings, and to have dedicated budget for this included in the municipality budgets. Overall, countries with comprehensive and stringent building standards have higher implementation rates of energy efficient technologies. Regarding measures for existing buildings – to accelerate retrofitting for better energy efficiency energy performance, certificate systems seem to be one of the effective ways (Dubey et al. 2019).
Regulations and development of engineering solutions that improve energy efficiency are not always directly driven by black carbon emission concerns but rather by energy savings. Nonetheless, highlighting the positive effect of energy efficiency improvements in residential dwellings on black carbon in the Arctic could enhance implementation of relevant policy actions and stimulate further development and research on this issue.