Energy Efficiency: Coalition of the Willing on Better Buildings and Neighbourhoods stepping up EPBD activity

In the context of the Renovation Wave, the EU Covenant of Mayors – which brings together local governments voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives – is organising informal stakeholder virtual exchanges under the so-called “Coalition of the Willing on Energy Efficiency of Buildings”, to which EBC participates, to maintain dynamic information sharing and positively contribute to the ongoing debates.

Following the first meeting of this Coalition in February, a second informal virtual conference took place on 17 June.

The conference was divided into two parts, with the first exploring how the coalition can and should contribute to catalysing the Renovation Wave at the local level. In the second segment, stakeholders dived into the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) revision and debated how participants could raise awareness on the upcoming changes to this critically important directive. Participants noted that the current timeframe is too premature to draw conclusions and adopt a dedicated collective position on the direction of revision, while it was agreed that further debate is needed to identify elements that will be central to the process.

The discussion revolved around subjects including One-Stop-Shops, circular buildings, building stock data, as well as financing and technical assistance. Particular attention was paid to the local repercussions that the EPBD revision is expected to generate, in particular, the need to clarify the respective roles of local actors (e.g., local authorities, policymakers, planners, architects, engineers, implementors and construction actors, awareness raisers, facilitators and financial institutions). Other topics of focus include among others the EPBD provisions on Long-Term Renovation Strategies, District and City planning to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise heating, data processing and digitalisation, but also the increased rates of public buildings’ renovation.

The debate also visited potential actions that the coalition could pursue going forward. Such actions could include an expansion of the debate into more targeted work items, but also the drafting and co-signing of collective outputs by the actors involved. Eventually, the activity could also take the form of targeted outreach toward the EU institutions. Participants agreed to hold additional meetings in the coming period, to examine specific aspects of buildings’ sustainability. Following the EBC’s suggestion, participants agreed that a dedicated future session on One-Stop-Shops is to be envisaged.

Finally, participants were able to vote for the new name of the coalition. Following the vote results, the new name will be “Coalition of the Willing on Better Buildings and Neighbourhoods”.

EBC is satisfied with this forum and looks forward to furthering exchanges as it allows for constructive interaction with key actors to make the Renovation Wave a reality. In this sense, EBC looks particularly forward to further explore how to best implement one-stop-shops for sustainable renovation, as it was clearly manifested in a joint paper with the International Union of Property Owners UIPI.

To learn more about the Covenant of Mayor for Climate & Energy, click here