On 19 December 2017 negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on new rules for improving buildings’ energy performance.
The agreement, signalling the completion of the first out of the eight legislative proposals tabled by the European Commission in the frame of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, paves the way for higher efficiency gains in the building sector in Europe.
The agreement puts great emphasis on the smartening of buildings by encouraging the use of ICT and other innovative technologies (e.g. automation and control systems), including theroll-out of e-infrastructure in all buildings. To measure buildings' capacity to use these new technologies and interact with the grid, the agreement also introduces a “smartness indicator". Moreover, the agreement prioritizes interventions in old buildings, as a means to reducing energy poverty.
Overall the agreement puts forward a long-term perspective to the renovation of building, supported by the blending of private and public funds, with the aim to reach a low and zero emission building stock in the EU by 2050.
The official text of the updated Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will be soon finalized and come to force 20 days after its publication on the EU Official Journal. From that date, Member States will have 18 months to transpose the new elements of the Directive.
The updated Directive is a positive step towards reducing the energy consumption of the building sector, still the largest single energy consumer in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy. This is good news for the whole of Europe and more so for areas like the Mediterranean, where buildings are largely inefficient and the market and institutions involved in the implementation of innovative financing instruments like EPC are to a large extent nascent.
The full Press Release on the updated EBPD can be found here.