EghtesadOnline: Homes and non-residential buildings have a very big and seemingly prohibitive cost when it comes to energy waste (almost 50%) in Iran.
Compared to 2019, natural gas consumption in the household sector increased by 10% and surpassed 600 million cubic meters per day over the past 10 days. Utilities have sent SMSs in large numbers urging the people to cooperate and reduce their gas and electricity consumption, IRNA reported.
There is no denying that the upsurge, to some extent, is due to the sudden drop in temperature in many provinces. But energy experts, namely Kourosh Hashemi, head of Building Energy Optimization Department at the Iranian Fuel Conservation Organization assert that buildings are too energy-intensive, gobbling up at least 40% of gas consumption even when the weather is not freezing, Financial Tribune reported.
“Efficiently designed modern structures reduce energy use while increasing comfort and quality for the people,” he said, adding that building optimization plans should be given higher priority or else new consumption records (in gas and power sectors) will pop up.
Energy consumption in buildings is four times higher than the global average whereas in the developed world industries are the major users, he noted.
Referring to (limited) measures to optimize energy consumption in buildings, he said the Tehran Construction Engineering Organization (TCEO) signed a memorandum of understanding with IFCO, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, two years ago, and they have drawn on reciprocal experience to find better ways to deal with energy waste in buildings. He did not provide details.
Iran is among the most energy inefficient countries in the world with energy intensity three times higher than the global average and 2.5 times the Middle East average.
Energy intensity rate in Iran at 0.63% is bigger than indices in countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia at 0.53% and 0.5% respectively.
According to Hamed Houri Jaffari, an advisor to IFCO, Iran's energy intensity was 0.8% in 2015 or equivalent to 6,000 barrels of oil.
In the same period Japan, South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had intensities of 0.1% (0.733barrels), 0.2% (1.466 barrels), 0.27% (1.97 barrels), 0.4% (2.93 barrels) and 0.12% (0.87 barrels) respectively – markedly different compared to Iran.
Household sector in Iran consumes the equivalent of one million barrels of oil per day that is nearly eight times that of the most energy-efficient countries.
The volume of energy consumption and waste is now exceeding supply, Jaffari said, warning that Iran would turn into a major energy importer within a few years if the present trend continues.
Comparing domestic energy consumption in different sectors with other nations, he said a large amount of energy is wasted in homes while the “large part of energy in developed countries is consumed by industries.”
Farzad Kiasat, an energy expert on construction affairs, says the massive energy consumption is due to poorly insulated walls, windows, age-old heating and cooling systems and inefficient materials and devices like light bulbs.
Abundance of subsidized energy is another key factor that has exacerbated the high consumption and waste the country can no more afforad.
Kiasat and Hashemi say things cannot change for the better unless buildings are designed and renovated in a way compatible with the climate and nature, especially in the hot southern regions and cold northern parts.
Iran consumed 2,873 tons of oil equivalent per capita in 2012, roughly the same as Italy with an economy over four times its size, according to World Bank estimates.