Increasing the energy efficiency of Malaysian buildings is an important part of Malaysia regulatory and policy, aiding in the attainment of such national goals as a stronger economy, greater national security and improved environmental health.


  • Malaysian Standard MS1525: Code of practice on energy efficiency and use of renewable energy for non-residential buildings
  • Malaysian Standard BS476 reference standards for Reaction to Fire
  • Malaysian Standard MS1020 : Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made mineral wool (MW) products – Specification
  • Malaysian Legislation on Energy Efficiency
  • Malaysian Incentives – Sales Tax Exemption

Malaysian Standard MS1525: Code of practice on energy efficiency and use of renewable energy for non-residential buildings

Summary of standard

Energy Efficiency standard for commercial building
Various sections in this standard specify minimum criteria for design, operation & maintenance
Contains 6 sections:

  1. Architectural & passive design
  2. Building envelope
    1. Walls : OTTV ≤ 50W/m2
    2. Roof : U value
      1. max 0.6W/m2K for heavy roof (heavy roof ≥ 50kg/m2)
      2. max 0.4W/m2K for light roof (light roof ≤ 50kg/m2)
      3. Additional requirement to meet for roof with skylights, RTTV ≤ 25W/m2
  3. Lighting
  4. Electrical power & distribution
  5. Air conditioning & mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system
  6. Energy management control system

Aim of standard

This standard is intended to encourage the efficient use of energy in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of new and existing buildings. It will also provide the criteria and minimum energy efficiency standard to be achieved. Furthermore, the standard is also aimed at encouraging the use of renewable energy in buildings.

MIMG’s view

The standard is currently only a guideline. However, its application can be more effective if it is made mandatory by incorporating the standard into the building by-law.The standard is applicable for buildings with floor area of 4000m2 and above. We believe it should also be applicable for buildings with smaller floor area in order to have a greater impact and be representative of the different types of Malaysian buildings.The OTTV, RTTV and U values as an option can be increased above the maximum allowable value when extra features are added to the building, such as shading, surface reflective treatments, etc.In our opinion, the standard should aim to reduce the maximum allowable values instead or at least to remove the optional clause.  This can reduce the possibility of compromise made to the performance of the building envelope which in turn will have a negative impact on the overall energy performance of the building.

Malaysian Standard BS476 reference standards for Reaction to Fire

Summary of standard

BS 476 Part 4, Part 6 and Part 7 are reference standards for Reaction to Fire.
Part 4 : Non-combustibility test for materials
Part 6 : Method of test for fire propagation for products
Part 7 : Method of test to determine the classification of the surface spread of flame of productsThese standards have been in existence for over 50 years. They are co-referenced with BS EN Standards in the UK Building Regulations since 2002.The standards have had very little review in the last 15 years other than some alignment done with EN tests. In the UK, these standards are no longer used to test construction products.

Aim of standard

The aim is to have a reference standard for the testing of products that will be fit for use in a building in accordance to the fire requirements in Malaysia.

MIMG’s view

As this standard is no longer being developed and updated, it may not be effective to use to assess the real performance of a new product in terms of its reaction to fire.
Furthermore, the BS standards were developed based on the ‘means of escape from building’ and to enable people to exit the building along corridors.As an alternative, we believe the EN standards would be a better test standard to reflect the actual performance of a product during a fire. EN standards were developed based on the scenario of a fire development within a small room and how it can potentially spread from the room into escape routes.

BS 476 series of test EN 13501-1 seriesof tests
Combustibility Combustibility
Surface spread of flame Surface spread of flame
Fire propagation Fire propagation
Organic content
Heat release(rate&total)
Smoke release(rate&total)
Spread of Fire by flaming Droplets

Malaysian Standard MS1020 : Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made mineral wool (MW) products – Specification

Summary of standard

  • Mineral wool standard for building applications
  • Reference standard used when revising this standard is EN13162 :
    Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made mineral wool (MW) products – Specification
  • Testing requirements grouped into two:
    • For all applications (basic requirements)
    • 2. For specific applications
  • Also includes “Factory Production Control”

Aim of standard

This standard specifies the requirements for factory made mineral wool products, which are used for the thermal insulation of buildings. It states specific requirements to be met for general application of mineral wool whilst for specific applications in buildings only declared value is required (if relevant).

MIMG’s view

The previous 1986 version was based on the parameters of the product while this current 2010 version is a performance based standard. It includes specification on the performance of the products towards thermal, fire and acoustics. Important elements of the product specification were also included such as length, width, squareness and flatness. This is to ensure that customers are getting products that meet their performance requirements.

Malaysian Legislation on Energy Efficiency

Summary and aim of legislation

Currently the Malaysian government is in the process of introducing requirements for thermal performance of the building envelope in the Malaysian Uniform Building by-Law. This initiative is expected to take some time to complete especially on the areas of implementation and administration.However, in the intervening period, some local municipals have already taken the initiative to introduce this legislation in their local district. It is done through several measures such as in the implementation of Green Building Index certification, tax rebate scheme and others.

MIMG’s view

Our view is that certain requirements on energy efficiency for building should be made mandatory. This can help assure energy savings measures are applied in the building during its lifetime and operation.It is crucial for the government to mandate such energy efficiency requirements because examples from other countries over the years have shown that people in general will not apply energy efficiency measures unless the law requires it to be so.In having buildings that use energy efficiently, the government can also benefit from the savings paid towards the subsidies of energy; at the same time helping to mitigate carbon emissions in the country.

Malaysian Incentives – Sales Tax Exemption

Summary and aim of incentive

Exemption on sales tax for insulation products was first introduced by the government in 2009 and it continued until 2012. This was one of the measures taken by the government to encourage the more efficient use of energy.The incentive also played its part in encouraging people to view insulation as a low hanging fruit, one of the most cost effective solutions for energy savings in building.

MIMG’s view

We believe that similar assessment rebates can be introduced as a scheme through local councils to promote green living and energy efficient lifestyle. The scheme can encompass building envelopes only or the overall building components including active and passive features.However, the application of such incentives will need to set specific parameters as requirements to be met in each of the area or component of the building. These requirements will then guide the local authorities in awarding or extending the rebates to people who deserving of it.To our knowledge, one local authority, the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya has implemented a similar scheme. Their initiatives have garnered them a few awards such as the International Winners category for Green Apple Green Champions 2013 by The Green Organization in England.

Examples from other nations

Germany KfW CO2 reduction, programme and loans
Providing reduced interest rates (3% below market interest rates). € 200 mil/year by government to reduce the interest rates. Had a major impact on jobs in the construction sector, with 13,000 to 23,000 full-time jobs generated for energy renovation, and a further 12,300 jobs for new building improvements each year. 

Lessons learned:

  • Handling the applications is very labour-intensive.
  • Some of the expectations were over-optimistic, with policy-makers tending to overestimate outcomes when under pressure to deliver overall targets.


Australia Home Insulation Programme (Nation Building and Jobs Plan)
– Energy Efficient Homes Package

This was an extremely popular programme. A total of 1.1 million houses were insulated.
It was estimated to have created around 6,000 to 10,000 jobs.


Phase 1 : from 3rd Feb 2009 till 30th June 2009

  • Payment was made directly to home owners following the installation and after eligibility assessment by the responsible agency.


Phase 2 : 1 July to 19 Feb 2010

  • Payment made directly to installers instead. This has increased the number and faster payment for claims although the cost was noticeably higher (compared to the initial cost model).
  • Improvement and changes were made in response to safety and quality concerns including training conducted to increase the competencies of the installers.
  • Reduction in the rebate amount.The programme was stopped due to the death of 4 workers and a series of house fires.


Lessons learned:

  • It was crucial to have a proper and rigorous programmed worked out and applied in the right place.
  • Non-conformance products should not be allowed to be used in the programme.


United Kingdom The Warm Front

  • A cap of maximum amount of grants given for 1 house.
  • Manage by eaga, UK’s leading provider of residential energy-efficiency solutions on behalf of the government.
  • Improvement options are: “insulation” and “heating”


a. Customer send in application
b. Assessment and proposal made by eaga
c. Customers agree – installation done
d. Additional cost to be borne by customers
e. Inspection by eaga
f. After care and warranty


Lessons learned:

  •  The eligibility criteria for access to the scheme should be ‘reasonable’.
  • Additional cost cannot always be secured so customer may skip this.


Denmark Electricity Saving Trust

Basically addresses barriers as stated below :

  • Lack of energy-efficient alternatives, and the consumers’ ability to recognise these by stimulating the supply-side to offer (a range of) energy-efficient products
  • Lack of confidence in novel products, like new energy-efficient technologies by providing unambiguous information about the quality of products and labeling
  • The price of energy-efficient products by creating price transparency and by providing subsidies to the end-user


Lessons learned:

  • The programme proved that a strategy integrating organisational, communicative and economic instruments can be very effective in transforming the market towards energy efficient products and in realising energy savings at a gain to society.