EBC welcomes EESC’s Opinion on the on the amended Energy Perfomance of Buildings Directive

The European Builders Confederation (EBC) welcomes the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opinion on the amended Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, approved on 27 April 2017.

The opinion highlights that significant advances continue to be made in building energy efficiency, in both new built and retrofitting, but also stresses that additional efforts have to be made in order to achieve remaining opportunities to improve efficiency and provide beneficial social impacts.

Patrick Liébus, EBC president, said: “I am happy that I had the chance to continuously contribute to the Opinion as a member of the Employer’s Group at the EESC. I am confident we achieved a really good result on this” .

EBC especially supports the EESC’s call for encouraging “green” mortgages and facilitating the grouping of small-scale best-practice renovation and efficiency programmes into larger frameworks, enabling finance packages to be applied. The focus on better financing forms an essential part to improve energy efficiency in buildings, as also the European Commission highlighted with its communication on Smart Financing for Smart Buildings.

Of equal importance is the critique of the EESC on linking financial incentives to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). This method in fact only allows for a posteriori payment of financial incentives thus increasing uncertainties for home owners and asking for high-upfront payments. EBC considers this counter-productive as renovations depend on subsidies and will not happen unless the home owner is certain to receive the subsidy before the renovation.

Further essential parts of the EESC opinion deal with the importance to strengthen measures against energy poverty as well as the need for a reference definition regarding the concept itself.

Additionally, the EESC deems it necessary to offer support for technical training in building renovation, particularly amongst SMEs, a claim strongly supported by EBC.

 Energy renovation market

 The energy renovation market is becoming more and more crucial for the construction sector, which contributes more than 9% to the EU’s GDP and offers 18 million jobs (83% in SMEs).

In 2015 energy renovation turnover in the EU was EUR 109 billion (15% of the total turnover of construction businesses). 882,900 jobs were created due to this activity in the same year. For further information please consult our infographic on why is a thriving energy renovation market essential to drive the EU Economy.