This European Commission proposal for a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) puts into practice the key element of the Energy Union: "Energy efficiency first!" The proposal is part of EC's new Clean Energy package, which was released on 30 November 2016.
The proposal takes into account the results of a review process based on a broad public consultation, studies, and meetings with stakeholders and is supported by an evaluation and an impact assessment
The main objective of this proposal is to accelerate the cost-effective renovation of the existing building stock, which represents a 'win-win' option for the EU economy as a whole. The construction industry generates about 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million direct jobs. Construction activities that include renovation work and energy retrofits add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings, and SMEs contribute more than 70% of the value added in the EU building sector.
In line with the above mentioned objectives, this proposal will update the EPBD by:
- integrating long term building renovation strategies (Article of 4 Energy Efficiency Directive), supporting the mobilisation of financing and creating a clear vision for a decarbonised building stock by 2050;
- encouraging the use of ICT and smart technologies to ensure buildings operate efficiently; and
- streamlining provisions where they have not delivered the expected results.
More specifically, the proposal introduces building automation and control systems as an alternative to physical inspections, encourages the roll-out of the required infrastructure for e-mobility (with a focus on large commercial buildings and excluding public buildings and SMEs), and introduces a smartness indicator to assess the technological readiness of the building to interact with their occupants and the grid and to manage themselves efficiently. This update of the EPBD will also strengthen the links between public funding for building renovation and energy performance certificates and will incentivise tackling energy poverty through building renovation.
To ensure that this proposal has maximum impact, the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative will contribute to mobilise and unlock private investments in a larger scale. Relying on the Investment Plan for Europe, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the European Structural Investment Funds, this initiative will support the effective use of public funds, support promoters and investors to bring good ideas to maturity with more project development assistance and project aggregation mechanisms. Ultimately, the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative will contribute to generate trust and attract more investors to the energy efficiency market.
Within this proposal, the EPBD is amended as follows:
- The definition of technical building systems under Article 2(3) is extended to on-site electricity generation and on-site infrastructure for electro-mobility.
- The current Article 4 EED on building renovation is moved to this Directive for greater consistency, and will include additionally the consideration of energy poverty issues, support for smart financing of building renovations and a vision for the decarbonisation of buildings by 2050, with specific milestones in 2030. The long-term building renovation strategies will become part of (and annexed to) the integrated national energy and climate plans and will be notified by Member States to the Commission by 1 January 2019 for the period post 2020 following the procedure set out in the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union. The strategy will cover the renovation of the national stock of residential and non-residential buildings.
- Article 6 on new building is simplified by limiting it to the provision identified in the impact assessment as the most useful, i.e. the general obligation for new buildings to meet the minimum energy performance requirements. Other provisions that were more cumbersome are deleted.
- Article 8 is updated to take into account the revised definition of technical building systems.
- Article 10 is updated to include two new provisions on using EPCs to assess savings from renovations financed with public support are to be assessed by comparing EPCs before and after renovation; and public buildings with a surface over a certain threshold must disclose their energy performance.
- Articles 14 and 15 on inspections are streamlined, while more effective approaches to regular inspections are implemented with the updated Article 14 and 15, and could be used instead to ensure that building performance is maintained and/or improved.
- Annex I is updated to improve transparency and consistency in the way energy performance is determined at national or regional level and to take into account the importance of the indoor environment.
For further information or to download the document, please visit the relevant European Commission webpages at the links below.
See also the relevant BUILD UP Publications: