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Chapter 03: Green building policy measures for greening social housing

per year) has to be spent on end-use efficiency

projects (UNEP SBCI, 2007).

Subsidies, Incentives and tax reduction - Financial

institutions are typically reluctant to fund energy

efficiency projects. Since the relative size of ESCOs

inhibits their funding capacity, government

assistance will play an important role in stimulating

the energy efficiency market (UNEP SBCI, 2007).

Subsidies are proven to be helpful in the residential

sector in order to overcome the major barrier of

high first costs for sustainability measures (e.g. to

help poor households to engage in energy efficiency

investments). In Brazil, the National Electrical

Energy Conservation Program (PROCEL)

provides grants to state and local utilities, state

agencies, private companies, universities and

research institutions. PROCEL is in place to tackle

waste in the production and use of electrical energy.

Measures include:


Consumption labelling to inform consumers,

influence purchasing decisions and encourage

manufacturers to make efficient products;


Energy diagnostics/audits to assess energy use

and efficiency;


Supporting research and development of

efficient technologies/products;


Replacing incandescent lamps in public lighting

with lamps that consume less energy;


Promoting efficient lighting and appliances in

government and residential buildings;


Measures to reduce losses in the electrical



Actions to reduce electricity demand during

peak hours;


Training courses, seminars, and conferences

to industrial and commercial consumers,

concession-holder staff and public organizations

to tackle energy waste

PROCEL also helps utilities obtain low-interest

financing for major energy efficiency projects from

a revolving loan fund within the electric sector

(WRI, 2013). These grants and the measures

pursued resulted in cumulative savings of 5.3 TWh

(169 ktCO 2

) per year at a benefit-cost ratio of 12:1

from 1986 to 1998 (UNEP SBCI, 2009a).

Information awareness

Policies which raise public awareness and reveal the

advantages of energy efficiency projects will play a

key role in triggering the acceptance and growth of

energy efficient refurbishment projects. The costeffectiveness

of information programmes exceeded

those of most other policy instruments, with

negative costs of $66/tCO 2

. Public information

campaigns include programmes which provide

“energy tips” and counselling, energy consumption

feedback and assessments, elementary school

programs, and mass media motivational campaigns.

They are often more effective for the residential

than the commercial sector. Information programs

are especially important in developing countries,

where a lack of information has been identified as

a major barrier for energy efficiency and renewable

energy investments (UNEP SBCI, 2009a). In order

to be effective, public information campaigns have

to be adapted to the audience, deliver a credible and

understandable message, which influences audience

beliefs, and finally create a social context that leads

to the desired outcome. There are also positive

experiences with public leadership programmes in

Brazil (UNEP SBCI, 2007). These programmes

serve to educate, influence and demonstrate


Green building interventions for social housing

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