Why should public buildings be frontrunner buildings in terms of energy performance?

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Throughout the Recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, Directive 2010/31/EU) it is requested that “the public sector in each Member State should lead the way in the field of energy performance of buildings” and “buildings occupied by public authorities and buildings frequently visited by the public should set an example”.  Governmental or municipal buildings with high energy performance such as nearly zero energy buildings can be shining examples for other, also non-public buildings as they show that low energy use due to high energy efficiency and significant contributions by renewable energy sources are possible. Users and visitors of the buildings can experience themselves how technical solutions look like, that they are reliable and that there are additional benefits besides the low energy use, for example a better indoor comfort. Not all private building owners are convinced about the energy saving technologies and do not want their building to be a “test case”. Seeing is believing. Among the most promising public building types to act as lighthouse projects are school buildings.