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Building efficiency put off track because of weak rules new study points out

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Euractiv published an article March 22, 2013 which presents and analyses the recently released cost-optimality report by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).

"Without further guidance, EU countries may mismanage their energy efficiency commitments and risk missing their energy savings' target, says a report by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe.

The report aims to provide guidance for member states to meet the EU’s rules on implementing “cost-optimal” methodology to take into account the lifetime costs of buildings under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The EPBD requires member states to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings have a net energy output of near zero. According to the European Commission, failure to implement the efficiency goals could result in court challenges.

“The building sector is responsible for the largest share of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and therefore they are a key sector to reach the long-term climate and energy targets," the BPIE report said. “The building sector has a significant cost-effective energy and CO2 emissions savings potential, which should be properly addressed by policies in order to mobilise the market towards a low carbon society and trigger multiple benefits”.

The BPIE cites the benefits of these energy savings as: independence from energy imports from politically unstable areas, job creation, improved air quality, indoor comfort, and reduced fuel poverty, among others.

Energy savings advocates say that technologies applied to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and heat pumps have the potential to recoup all money invested in less than a decade."

Euractiv also recaps at the end of this article the main coming steps of the Energy Efficiency Directive.