Energy efficiency in Hungary

When it comes to energy efficiency, one of the biggest potential savings in Hungary can be found in residential buildings. Around 40% of the country’s primary energy consumption is related to buildings and one third to households. Hungary’s energy intensity in 2018 was 1.8 times the EU-28 average (Eurostat). The average energy performance of the Hungarian housing stock falls into the “FF” category, according to the average energy certificates, which means that these buildings consume at least twice as much energy as a modern building.

In total, there are 4 million dwellings in Hungary, three quarters of which were built before 1980. At that time, energy efficiency was not a consideration in construction, nor was it a legal requirement. Between 72-74% of final energy use in households is consumed to heat – one of the highest percentage in the EU, where the average is 64%. Including hot water production, this reaches 85% of a households’s energy consumption in total (MEKH 2020).

A deep energy renovation of 100-130 thousand residential buildings per year would be needed to renew the domestic building stock. Energy renovations are ongoing, but the MEHI 2020 survey revealed the following:

  • renovations are not done for energy efficiency reasons, but mostly because something breaks down;
  • energy renovations are partial, most of them are not accompanied by an energy plan, and the technical content is decided by lay people;
  • the renovations do not deliver the expected results, the energy savings do not exhaust the potential of the building (lock-in effect: sub-optimal solutions remain for decades).

MEHI provides policy recommendations to decision-makers and a one-stop-shop energy advice office network for renovators to change this practice and situation.