Accompanying the document Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings
This Staff Working Document, evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, added value and coherence of the EPBD, accompanies the Proposal for a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which is included in the European Commission's new Clean Energy package, released on 30 November 2016.
The evaluation shows that the overall architecture of the EPBD, combining minimum requirements and certification, is working. With 48.9 Mtoe additional final energy savings and a reduction of 63 Mt of CO2, the EPBD is likely to deliver the expected impacts by 2020.
Furthermore, the EPBD has been the main driving force behind significant improvements in the energy used in EU buildings, with stricter minimum energy performance requirements (based on ‘cost optimality’) in all Member States and a major updating of national building codes with a view to ensuring ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings.
Very large cost-effective saving potential remains, however, and the transformation of the building stock is still proceeding at a relatively slow pace, as a combination of factors (the effects of the economic crisis, the long lifetime of buildings, the influence of local and climatic conditions, and divergent ownership arrangements) weighs on renovation rates.
The evaluation identifies potential for improving the efficiency of national implementation. There is scope for improving compliance with minimum requirements, in particular for existing buildings and building elements. National certification schemes are sending a demand-driven market signal for energy-efficient buildings, but could be further strengthened. Independent control systems are still at early stages in several Member States and they could be improved, e.g. with supporting energy performance certificate (EPC) databases or registers. EPC schemes should be more systematically integrated in the overall national frameworks so as to facilitate checks on compliance with minimum energy performance requirements and act as a door-opener to financial support.
The evaluation also identifies opportunities to simplify, update and streamline existing provisions in the light of technological developments.
The evaluation shows that the general objective, framework and boundary conditions of the EPBD remain relevant. The EPBD could do more to improve the quality of the indoor environment and support the decarbonisation of the economy.
The evaluation shows that EU policy in this area adds value. The use of a ‘cost-optimal’ methodology to steer existing national energy performance requirements towards cost-efficient levels is seen as a proportionate approach. Adopting a pan-European ambition for all new buildings to be ‘nearly zero energy’ by 2020 has sent a strong signal, stimulating innovation Europe-wide, rather than in a fragmented market. Similar market signals are lacking, however, when it comes to the existing building stock, where there is the most potential for cost-effective improvements.
The evaluation concludes that the EPBD is coherent, both internally and externally. The provisions on minimum requirements, EPCs and more general measures to address market barriers can be implemented effectively to work in synergy within the EPBD framework and with other pieces of EU legislation.
For further information or to download the document, please visit the relevant European Commission webpages at the links below.