Control methodologies of energy performance certificates. Data quality assessment in the Basque Country and learning from experience to make improvements

Supervised by:
  1. Iván Flores Abascal Director
  2. José María Sala Lizarraga Director

Defence university: Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Fecha de defensa: 22 July 2021

  1. María Manuela Prieto González Chair
  2. Jon Terés Zubiaga Secretary
  3. Ricardo Barbosa Committee member
  1. Ingeniería Energética

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 155244 DIALNET lock_openADDI editor


The EPBDs required Member States (MSs) to establish an independent control system for the EPC. The Basque Country has its own system. The Laboratory for the Quality Control in Buildings (LCCE- for its acronym in Spanish) of the Basque Government is one of the accredited bodies for performing the control activity. It is from the laboratory numerous EPCs checks have been carried out for this thesis.Despite initiatives to improve the quality of the EPCs, studies have shown that the inaccuracy of many of them is a fact. Without measures to enhance the EPCs quality, public distrust in European strategy could raise and the continuity of this could be at risk.In consequence, in order to get better quality results in EPC database, this thesis aims to contribute improving the Basque Country independent control system and making the control procedures implementation more effective. For that purpose, it is necessary to learn from previous experience, toknow the effectiveness of the system and to observe where there is potential to improvement.Hence, a continuous and iterative methodology has been adopted in this thesis. After exposing the controlperformance of EPCs (Chapter 3), an exhaustive analysis of control results has been realized in order toobtain the feedback of the experience (Chapter 4, 5 and 6) and finally, some improvements proposalshave been exposed.At first, in Chapter 3, an overview of the control campaign in the 2014-2019 period has been presented.The control protocol stablished by LCCE, which is based on documentary review and on-site inspections,has been carried out in numerous EPCs and from them control results data have been collected in arepresentative 146 EPC sample.After that, an accurate analysis of collected data has been performed in three parts. In the first part(Chapter 4), the EPC sample quality is assessed, and a statistical analysis has made possible toextrapolate sample results to the Basque Country EPC database. The results obtained prove that not onlyinaccuracy exists but also there is an increasing trend. Nevertheless, approximately as many EPCs presenta positive deviation as EPCs have a negative one. It suggests that at least half of EPCs were not madedeliberately by wrongdoing.In the second part (Chapter 5), an assessment of EPC subsamples data quality has been carried out. Bythis study, some guidance for the most effective EPC control selection criteria have been achieved. It isimpossible to control 100% of the EPCs, so it is necessary to have a selection criterion capable offiltering out the EPCs with most of the errors. The results suggest that the EPCs with the highest nrPEC(e.g. existing buildings or tertiary building) have the poorer quality. Moreover, it has been shown that theautomatic checks methodology could be an effective way to filtering EPCs with potential errors.The last part of the monitored EPC control analysis is focused on the qualitative, quantitative, and mixedresearch of nonconformities (NCs) issued in noncompliance reports. The analysis is carried out bycataloguing the type of NCs, exploring what underlies these NCs and what are the most appropriate andoptimal ways to identify them. Several conclusions have been achieved, but two of them are worthmentioning. The NCs mainly occur given that qualified experts (QEs) fail in getting accurate data fromproject definition, from information exchange with project/construction management agents, etc as wellas because EPCs are sometimes ill-defined. And the second main conclusion, is that there is not a singledetection form which is able to detect the most part of the NC types. A combination of different checkingprocedures is needed to get an effective control methodology.Finally (Chapter 7), after the completion of the EPC control results analysis, this thesis has proposedvarious improvements for the system and verification procedures which are supported by conclusions ofthe previous chapter 4, 5 and 6. A preventive phase where the attachment of some documents will berequired at the start of EPC registration in order to avoid some specific NCs is proposed. Besides, a newselection criterion is suggested based on a combination of a filtering by automatic checks and targetedcriteria. At the end, organization of various steps in the verification protocol for controllers must beplanned. Part of the last two measures consist of an automatic check-up program. Thus, validation rulesfor this aim have been determined.With the last chapter a continuous-iterative procedure is proposed. Nevertheless, it is necessary to makeclear that a continuous improvement involves initiating again the procedure with the future control resultsand new regulations.