The European Commission unveils its much awaited Winter Package, entitled ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’, including proposals for reviewing the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). EuroACE, whose member companies employ over 280 000 workers in the sector of energy efficient buildings, welcomes these publications as an opportunity to start improving the regulatory framework and make it fit for accelerating investments in energy renovation works.
“We welcome the inclusion by the European Commission of a long-term vision until 2050 for the building stock in the EU”, said Alix CHAMBRIS, President of EuroACE. “However, we believe this vision should be further refined and given more detail in order to bring clarity for the sector, both industries and investors, who are ready to deliver”, she added. EuroACE suggests for the EPBD to include a vision of the building stock at EU level by 2050 that would be highly energy efficient, currently defined as nearly-zero energy performance standard (nZEB). Reducing the energy demand first would facilitate the decarbonisation of the building sector, the energy system and the European economy, by opening up the widest possible range of cost-effective and clean energy supply solutions.
In order to deliver ‘Clean Energy for All’, the different pieces of legislation need to be improved so as to really put Energy Efficiency First. “With a 30% binding energy efficiency target for 2030, the European Commission takes a small step in the right direction as it merely ensures continuing the business as usual scenario, missing a once-in-a-decade opportunity to boost the energy efficiency market”, says Adrian JOYCE, Secretary General of EuroACE. “Industry recognises that the cost-effective potential for energy efficiency lies at 40% by 2030, but we are glad to see that the Commission proposes a target that is binding at EU level”. The planning, reporting and monitoring provisions included in the Governance Regulation should therefore be strengthened in order to ensure that Member States will deliver.
EuroACE and its member companies are committed to work with the co-legislators (European Parliament and Council), throughout the legislative procedure, in order to fully open up business opportunities in the energy efficiency sector. Equipping action on buildings with an enabling legislative framework will contribute to increased growth, more local quality jobs, and improved health, well-being and comfort for all Europeans. Energy efficiency in buildings is truly a policy for the people and for a better life at home, at school or at work. Now is the opportunity to ensure that a holistic approach to renovation is promoted.
EuroACE welcomes the increased focus on improving financing opportunities for energy renovation of buildings, notably through the European Buildings Initiative, which still needs to be fully operationalised. EuroACE also welcomes the move towards the introduction of smart technologies in buildings, e.g. with the newly created Smartness Indicator, in order to make sure that energy is efficiently managed.
Nevertheless, much more should be done to further increase the energy renovation rate and depth in Europe. Suggestions include strengthening the guiding role and quality of Energy Performance Certificates, improving the design and implementation of national long-term renovation strategies, and ensuring that the Article 7 of the EED (prolonged after 2020) opens up more opportunities in the buildings sector. All in all, EuroACE calls on the co-legislators to ensure that there is good coherence between the different pieces of legislation included in the Package, and pledges that it will take part in the upcoming discussions.
More information on the EuroACE position is available on its website www.euroace.org.
 See the EuroACE Position Paper on Smart Buildings here.
 See more information on how to strengthen the EPBD in the EuroACE Workshops Summary Booklet here