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Updating the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

By Platform

 On 15 December 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for a recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, in the framework of the Fit for 55% Package. The package of measures aims to put Europe on track for a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

The proposed revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive introduces new standards for energy performance to decarbonise the building sector, with changes to definitions of energy performance standards, revisions to national building renovation plans and a new requirement for life-cycle emission calculations for new builds.

The proposal introduced several new definitions under Article 2 which increase the ambition of renovation efforts:

  • 'Zero-emission building', a building with very high energy performance, where the low amount of energy required is covered by renewables generated onsite, by an energy community, or via district heating and cooling. This will be the standard for new buildings and the level to be achieved by deep renovations as of 2030;
  • 'Nearly-zero energy building', a building meeting the above standards with performance no lower than a cost-optimal level (to be established under Article 6);
  • 'Deep renovation', meaning transforming a building into nearly-zero emission building (up to 2030) or a ‘zero-emission building’ (after 2030).

National Building Renovation Plans (previously 'Long-Term Renovation Strategies') will need to be revised to include a roadmap and national targets by 2030, 2040 and 2050 (Article 3). Member states will need to ensure that public buildings and non-residential buildings are at least class F by 2027, and class E by 2030, with all residential buildings meeting class F by 2030 and class E by 2033 (Article 9). Meeting these targets would require renovation of 15% of the current building stock, estimated at some 40 million buildings across the EU.

New buildings will have to be zero-emission by 2030 (2027 for public buildings), and life-cycle Global Warming Potential (GWP) will be calculated for large new buildings from 2027, and for all new buildings by 2030 (Article 7). This will take account of the whole life-cycle carbon emissions of the buildings, including manufacturing and construction, use, and end-of-life.

The revised EPBD would give member states a legal basis for banning fossil fuel boilers and aims to end all financial support for them by 2025 (Article 11). On e-mobility infrastructure, the proposal also requires pre-cabling for new and renovated buildings and installation of charging points at office buildings (Article 12). New provisions are also made to improve the Smart Readiness Indicator and Energy Performance Certificates (Articles 13-19) to provide data to owners and buyers and ensure comparability across the EU.

For more information, see the proposal for a recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Interreg Europe supports many regions and cities across Europe where energy performance in buildings is a priority for policy makers since many years. Their solutions, approaches and results can be explored in the Interreg Europe good practice database, or directly from their projects websites. Have a look at what the projects are working on:

  • BUILD2LC: boosting low carbon innovative building rehabilitation in European regions
  • CLEAN: Technologies and open innovation for low-carbon regions
  • EMPOWER: More carbon reduction by dynamically monitoring energy efficiency
  • ENERSELVES; Policy instruments for energy self-consumption in buildings
  • LOCARBO: Novel roles of regional and Local authorities in supporting energy consumers’ behaviour change towards a low carbon economy
  • REBUS: Renovation for Energy efficient buildings
  • S3UNICA: Smart Specialisation university campus
  • SOCIALGREEN: Regional Policies towards Greening the Social Housing Sector
  • VIOLET: preserve traditional buildings through energy reduction
  • ZEROCO2: Promotion of near zero CO2 emission buildings due to energy use
Image credit: EnvatoElements
Energy transition
European Commission
European Union