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Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (recast) - 19 May 2010

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The English version of the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD recast), as published in the Official Journal of the EU.


Summary of legislation:

This Directive aims to promote the energy performance of buildings and building units.

For all language versions and formats, click here.


On 19 May 2010, a recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in order to strengthen the energy performance requirements and to clarify and streamline some of the provisions from the 2002 Directive it replaces.

The recast proposal confirms the importance of effective implementation at the Member State level, the importance of Community-wide co-operation and the strong long-term commitment and role of the Commission itself to support such effective implementation.

As the November 2008 Commission Communication for the original proposal states, buildings have significant untapped potential for cost effective energy savings “which, if realized, would mean that in 2020 the EU will consume 11 % less final energy.” The magnitude of the potential savings is such that every effort must be made to achieve it.


Major points of the Recast Directive include:


  • As of 31 December 2020 new buildings in the EU will have to consume 'nearly zero-energy'.
  • Public authorities that own or occupy a new building should set an example by building, buying or renting such 'nearly zero-energy building' as of 31 December 2018.
  • The definition of nearly zero-energy building was agreed as: ¨nearly zero-energy building means a building that has a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex I. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.¨
  • Member States shall draw up national plans for increasing the number of nearly zero-energy buildings.
  • Member States shall furthermore, following the leading example of the public sector, develop policies and take measures; i.e. the setting of targets, in order to stimulate the transformation of buildings that are refurbished into nearly zero-energy buildings, and inform the Commission thereof in their national plans.
  • The Commission shall, by 31 December 2012 and every three years thereafter, publish a report on the progress of Member States in increasing the number of nearly zero-energy buildings. On the basis of that report the Commission shall develop an action plan and, if necessary, propose measures to increase the number of those buildings and encourage best practices as regards the cost-effective transformation of existing buildings into nearly zero-energy buildings.
  • The 1000m² threshold for major renovation has been deleted and this will take effect when the national regulations have been implemented and applied, probably at the beginning of 2014.
  • Minimum requirements for components are introduced for all replacements and renovations, although for major renovations, the holistic calculation methodology is the preferred method with performance calculations based on component requirements allowed as a complement or alternatively.
  • A harmonised calculation methodology to push-up MS minimum energy performance requirements towards a cost-optimal level is set out in the Directive.
  • MS will have to justify to the Commission if the gap between current requirements and cost optimal requirements is more than 15 %.
  • A more detailed and rigorous procedure for issuing energy performance certificates will be required in MS.
  • Control systems will be required by MS to check the correctness of performance certification.
  • MS will be required to introduce penalties for non-compliance. Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States shall communicate those provisions to the Commission by 9 January 2013.

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