The amendment of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is one of the most important changes that has occurred in the EU buildings sector in the last 16 years.
Under the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD):
- EU countries will have to establish stronger long-term renovation strategies, aiming at decarbonising the national building stocks by 2050, and with a solid financial component.
- A common European scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings, optional for Member States, will be introduced.
- Smart technologies will be further promoted, for instance through requirements on the installation of building automation and control systems and on devices that regulate temperature at room level.
- E-mobility will be supported by introducing minimum requirements for car parks over a certain size and other minimum infrastructure for smaller buildings.
- EU countries will have to express their national energy performance requirements in ways that allow cross-national comparisons.
- Health and well-being of building users will be promoted, for instance through an increased consideration of air quality and ventilation.
Other requirements under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive include:
- All new buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings by 31 December 2020.
- Energy performance certificates must be issued when a building is sold or rented, and they must also be included in all advertisements for the sale or rental of buildings.
- EU countries must establish inspection schemes for heating and air conditioning systems or put in place measures with equivalent effect.
- EU countries must set cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings, for the major renovation of existing buildings, and for the replacement or retrofit of building elements (heating and cooling systems, roofs, walls and so on).
- EU countries must draw up lists of national financial measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
What is the challenge?
- The Commission reached an agreement that includes a binding energy efficiency target for the EU for 2030 of 32.5%.
- The risk of the directive being ineffective is high if countries and local authorities do not enforce it correctly.
- Around 200 million buildings need to be renovated. EU countries must make energy efficient renovations to at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned and occupied by central government.
- EU governments should only purchase buildings which are highly energy efficient.
- EU countries must draw up long-term national building renovation strategies which can be included in their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans.
- Member states are to provide for set system requirements in respect to installation, sizing, adjustment and controls. This applies to heating systems, hot water, air conditioning and large ventilation systems.
- Cost optimal performance – the integration between cost optimality and high performance technical solutions underpins the deployment of NZEBs.