On 1 of July the most recent update of the Regulations for Thermal Installations in Buildings (RITE) came into force. This regulation establishes the minimum conditions that must be met by thermal installations and the obligations that must be met by the technicians who install them, with regards to energy efficiency and safety. In this article we summarize for you the new developments introduced by this regulation (RD 178/2021), and how this affects communities of property owners.
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Objectives of the RITE
The objective of the RITE is to comply with energy efficiency and safety requirements.
- Use of available renewable energies, specifically, solar energy and biomass.
- The gradual phasing-out of the most polluting solid fuels.
- More efficient operation in heating and cooling equipment.
- The gradual phasing-out of less efficient energy generating equipment.
When does RITE apply?
The RITE regulations apply in all thermal installations in new-build constructions and in refurbishments. Thermal Installations include fixed air conditioning installations (ventilation, refrigeration and heating) and equipment for the production of hot water for domestic purposes in any type of building.
Requirements that must be met by thermal installations
- Highly energy-efficient heating and cooling installations, aiming to achieve close to maximum performance.
- Thermally insulated heating and cooling distribution of the thermal installation devices.
- Regulation and control systems to maintain the design conditions and adjust to the thermal air-conditioning needs of the location.
- Keeping consumption records in order to share consumption costs for installations with several users or on a larger scale.
- Energy recovery to benefit from the surplus energy of any thermal process.
- Use of renewable energies to cover the demand anticipated by the regulations as a minimum.
What new developments does the RITE introduce?
The new developments introduced in the RITE mean that owners will now be better informed and will be able to choose more efficient solutions when, for example, the technicians come to install a heat pump in the Community. Why? Because now the technicians must comply with a series of requirements in all thermal installations which includes having to propose efficient alternative installations.
In this respect:
- Installations that do not meet the efficiency and sustainability criteria will have to be justified to be able to implement them.
- Also, this justification must be accompanied by a comparison between the energy system chosen and alternative energy systems.
Spain’s energy efficiency plan
The RITE is part of Spain’s energy efficiency and saving plan aimed at promoting the use of clean energies. The plan involves an estimated 39.5% reduction in primary energy consumption by 2030, an objective that will be achieved through the measures proposed in the plan; these measures include refurbishing residential equipment, promoting energy efficiency in construction and large air conditioning installations in the service sector and in cooling equipment and public infrastructures, with RITE being fundamental to achieve these objectives.