Deal struck on the Energy Efficiency Directive

The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) welcomes the new trialogue agreement between the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission on the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive.

The meeting on 13th of June resulted in a common decision of the negotiators which requires all Member States to set themselves national targets and establish long-term strategies for improving the energy performance of the building stock.

This agreement represents an important step for Europe in acknowledging energy efficiency as a focal point for Europe’s sustainable growth strategy. “This deal will give a boost to Europe’s economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals. The new energy efficiency legislation sets out binding measures, which will go a significant way towards bridging the current gap the EU faces in meeting its pledge to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020. The legislation includes a number of crucial measures that will deliver concrete energy savings.” declared Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU), the leader of the negotiations.

The legislation encloses several measures concerning buildings:

  • Setting of national targets by each Member State and to continue elaborating and submitting energy efficiency action plans every three years (2014, 2017 and 2020), including measures for buildings;
  • Requirement for renovating central government buildings and procurement targeting central government;
  • Development of long term renovation strategies for the national building stocks including policies to stimulate deep renovations;
  • Energy efficiency schemes for utilities;
  • Requirements for CHP and efficiency of the energy system;
  • Mobilization of private and public investments for energy efficiency measures;

The provisionally agreed text still requires official approval by the full assembly of the Parliament, as well as that of the Council of Ministers before it becomes a law.

Although, the compromise made concerning the renovation of public sector buildings (Art. 4) reduces considerably the Directive’s initial ambition, BPIE is extremely satisfied with the requirements referring to the establishment of ‘long-term’ strategies ‘for mobilizing investment in the renovation of the national building stocks, both for public and private’. This is what BPIE suggested in the 2011 study Europe’s Buildings under the Microscope as a must for framing the improvement of the energy performance of the existing building stock in the light of the EU long term (2050) decarbonisation goal. These roadmaps acknowledge the need for long-term thinking and a systematic, integrated approach when it comes to building renovation. Specifically, the requirement to develop polices and measures stimulating cost-effective deep renovations of buildings are a great achievement.

A first version of these strategies shall be published by 30 April 2014 and updated every three years thereafter as part of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans. (Art. 3a)


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