New measures to ensure that all new buildings in the EU are as energy-efficient as possible by 2050 were agreed by the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament.
Rules to channel the focus towards energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness when existing buildings are renovated in the EU were approved on Wednesday 11 October 2017 by ITRE. This updates the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and is part of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package.
Bendt Bendtsen (EPP, DK), the ITRE rapporteur in charge of the file, said: “We have achieved a solid majority in Parliament to boost energy efficiency renovations. It is vital that Member States show a clear commitment and take concrete actions in their long-term planning. This includes facilitating access to financial tools, showing investors that energy efficiency renovations are prioritised, and enabling public authorities to invest in well-performing buildings."
MEPs want a clear strategy that would make both public and private buildings highly energy-efficient by 2050. They propose introducing energy reduction benchmarks for 2030 and 2040, as well as measurable progress indicators, to evaluate how new buildings contribute to the EU’s overall energy-efficiency goals.
Infrastructure for electric vehicles will have to be added to all new buildings and to those undertaking major renovation, such as electrical recharging and parking infrastructure in buildings with more than 10 parking spaces.
Monitoring energy performance
MEPs approved the use of a “smartness indicator” measuring tool to help reduce energy consumption by adapting the building to the needs of the occupant. High standards of indoor health and air quality conditions would also be prioritised.
Informal negotiations with EU Ministers are expected to start promptly, once plenary has approved the negotiating mandate, scheduled for October II session in Strasbourg.
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will vote on a draft report on a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
In the European Parlimament, Bendt Bendtsen presented a draft report in April 2017, which was discussed in the ITRE committee on 29 May. The rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs have agreed on compromise amendments amending the proposal of the Commission with regard to Member States' long-term renovation strategies, provisions to promote electro-mobility, to reinforcing the use of building automation and control, and the introduction of a 'smartness indicator' to measure a building's capacity to use ICE and electronic systems. The amendments were tabled until mid-June 2017.
The draft report:
calls to strengthen the national long-term renovation strategies, which should propose all tools necessary to accelerate renovations in already existing buildings;
calls for Member States and investors to propose well-defined national milestones and actions for energy efficiency to achieve short-term (2030), mid-term (2040) and long-term (2050) objectives;
proposes that the Commission shall ‘assess the need for further harmonisation of energy performance certificates’ and ‘the feasibility of introducing the concept of a building renovation passport’, ‘in order to provide a long-term, step-by-step renovation roadmap for a specific building’;
supports the Commission proposal to link development of electro-mobility with buildings renovations but proposes to make the link in case of related renovations (e.g. parking, electrical infrastructure), ‘to ensure that incentives to renovate are not undermined’;
supports the Commission proposal on measures decreasing the administrative burden related to energy renovations and proposes some additional solutions.
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