01 December 2012
Sustainability has long been a theme in Chinese energy policy. Already in the 1980s, national commitment to
improving energy efficiency led to a long-term decline in energy intensity seen nowhere else. China has the potential
to become much more efficient, and the mandatory targets of the country’s Five-Year Plans (FYPs) provide
guidelines for increasingly sophisticated measures.
With the rapid increase in the urbanisation rate, coupled with the country’s strong GDP growth, living standards
have risen in parallel, with the result that energy consumption in the built environment has grown rapidly
in recent years. Since 2006, government has enforced strong policies to promote energy efficiency in the built
environment, with remarkable achievements in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).
The 12th FYP sets a target of reducing energy use per unit of GDP by 16 % in 2015, compared with 2010. A
variety of programmes and regulations support this target. In 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural
Development (MOHURD) promulgated the 12th Five-Year Building Energy Efficiency Plan, which covers the
objective and all associated activities in the building sector.
This paper briefly describes the work that China has already done and will continue with in the building energy