Energy Efficiency: EBC highlights areas for improvement in the revision of the EPBD

The war in Ukraine has made it all the more urgent and pressing than ever for the European Member States and their citizens to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, accounting for almost 40% of carbon emissions in the EU, make a better use of resources and reduce energy dependences.  

To that end, more energy-efficient buildings will help achieve the environmental ambitions of the EU while at the same time supporting the recovery of the economy and boosting activity for SMEs, which constitute the overwhelming majority of construction companies. 

EBC has always been actively engaged in the debate on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and had issued a dedicated position paper last autumn, met with the European Commission on this file and reacted in December 2021 when the Commission’s proposal was made public. 

On 31 March, EBC submitted updated comments to the European Commission’s call for feedback on the legislative proposal for the revision of the EPBD. In its response, EBC welcomes the fact that the Commission decided to safeguard the scope of the directive, keeping the focus on the energy performance of buildings, and staying dedicated to the appropriate implementation of the Energy Efficiency First principle. At the same time, other points will require further attention, to facilitate their implementation and good functioning, as the novel frameworks on Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), Zero-Emission Buildings (ZEBs) and revised Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). 

More specifically, EBC highlighted the following key points: 

  • Europe needs a robust framework and stronger uptake for One-Stop-Shops for energy renovation 
  • The new Energy Performance Certificates should not penalise front runners  
  • The Minimum Energy Performance Standards need careful implementation 
  • Introducing Zero-Emission Buildings could be challenging for SMEs 
  • Financing the transition and the right skills 
  • Whole life-cycle emissions of new buildings should be discussed separately 
  • The need to ensure coherence with the Energy Efficiency Directive 
To read the full EBC feedback on the EC proposal for the revision of the EPBD, click here. 

The file is now in the hands of the co-legislators, with the European Parliament having appointed MEP Ciarán Cuffe (Greens, Ireland) as rapporteur for the file, and MEPs Seán Kelly (EPP, Ireland), Penkova Tsvetelina (S&D, Bulgaria), Petersen Morten (Renew, Denmark) Tovaglieri Isabella (ID, Italy), Ilčić Ladislav (ECR, Croatia) and Matias Marisa (GUE, Portugal) as shadow rapporteurs.  

The lead ITRE Committee is set to adopt its report with amendments in July, while the final amendments are set to be adopted by the Plenary of the European Parliament at the end of October 2022. The Council has also begun its works on the file under the French Presidency. 

EBC continues to advocate on this key file for the environmental ambitions of the European Commission regarding the built environment and buildings, but also for the activity of construction SMEs and crafts in the renovation market. 

To read our full position paper on the EPBD (2021), click here

To read our press release reacting to the EPBD revision proposal in December 2021, click here