The Ministry of Construction has issued a draft circular to provide guidance on management, saving and efficient use of energy in buildings.

The draft is expected to be an important step forward in improving standards and reducing energy consumption for public and private buildings, such as offices, hotels, hospitals, schools with more than 2,500 square metres of total floor space.

The number of buildings such as houses, shopping centres and hotels has increased rapidly in recent years. In these buildings, poor energy efficiency measures have led to huge energy waste.

"The building sector is one of the large energy users, accounting for 25 percent of total national energy consumption. Therefore, applying energy efficiency solutions for buildings is so important," Nguyen Trung Hoa, head of the Ministry's Department of Science, Technology and Environment, told Xay Dung (Construction) newspaper.

To encourage buildings to save energy, the ministry will grant the Building Energy Efficiency Certificates to buildings that successfully meet QCVN 09:2013/BXD standards.

The compulsory technical requirements will be applied to building components such as building envelopes, lighting, ventilation systems and air conditioning, lift and escalator, and heating.

The potential of energy efficiency in constructions including both old and new buildings is very high, experts said.

"Application of energy efficient technologies and materials, architectural designs can save around 30-40 percent of energy consumption for new buildings," said Tran Dinh Thai, from the construction ministry.

"For renovated buildings, if energy audits and energy saving solutions are applied, about 15-25 percent of energy consumption will be saved," he added.

However, the amount of energy consumption in buildings remains high because Vietnam still lacks detailed regulations and experts that can promote energy efficiency and conservation, said Nguyen Cong Thinh from the department.

"The consultant units which have capacity in building energy efficiency are still few in number. The most advanced design technology is energy use simulation software for buildings which have are not yet," said Tran Thanh Vu, Energy Efficiency Consulting experts at the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The Ministry of Construction will also provide training courses for energy managers and energy auditors to improve the knowledge of energy conservation. In the future, this work should be strongly promoted to meet the needs of human resources of the units engaged in energy efficiency.-VNA