Energy Efficiency

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 269-282

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The effect of energy performance regulations on energy consumption

  • Olivia Guerra-SantinAffiliated withWelsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University Email author 
  • , Laure ItardAffiliated withOTB Research Institute for the Built Environment, TU Delft


Governments have developed energy performance regulations in order to lower energy consumption in the housing stock. Most of these regulations are based on the thermal quality of the buildings. In the Netherlands, the energy efficiency for new buildings is expressed as the EPC (energy performance coefficient). Studies have indicated that energy regulations are successful in lowering the energy consumption in residential buildings. However, the actual energy consumption is usually different from the expected energy consumption. This paper explores the effectiveness of energy performance regulations in lowering the energy consumption of dwellings built in the Netherlands after 1996. The effect of the EPC and thermal characteristics on energy consumption was determined by statistical analyses of data on actual energy consumption. The results showed that energy reductions are seen in dwellings built after the introduction of energy performance regulations. However, results suggest that to effectively reduce energy consumption, the tightening of the EPC in not enough. Policies aimed at controlling the construction quality and changing occupant behaviour are also necessary to achieve further energy reductions.


Actual energy consumption Energy performace regulations Housing