EPBD recast: EBC and its construction SMEs call to support compromise reached by co-legislators

Ahead of the debate and vote in the Plenary of the European Parliament taking place today and tomorrow, the European Builders Confederation EBC and its construction SMEs call for supporting the final text of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) recast. Taking note of the lengthy and intense interinstitutional negotiations to achieve a compromise, it is time to provide a clear and stable regulatory framework to the renovation sector.

Since the beginning of the recast process, EBC has advocated for both an ambitious and realistic EPBD that takes on board crafts, micro, small and medium-sized construction companies. In this vein, EBC welcomed the agreement reached by co-legislators on this central piece of legislation for Europe‚Äôs buildings back in December 2023, and now reiterates its support to a law expected to boost the much-needed energy efficiency renovations for a decarbonised building stock by 2050.

In the past three years, intense negotiations led to compromises and advancements on a number of existing and novel EPBD provisions, taking into account the proposals from construction SMEs and crafts, who will be doing the work on site. The balance achieved on elements such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), National Building Renovation Plans (NBRPs), One-Stop-Shops (OSS), Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Zero-Emission Buildings, heating, or solar energy in buildings, is an overall constructive and acceptable approach that could be fit for purpose. The flexibility left at the discretion of national implementation is a welcomed strategic element of the new Directive, which enables a clearly defined ambition to promote better canons for both the renovation of existing buildings and the construction of new ones.

In order to ensure regulatory certainty for the construction and renovation value chain, especially SMEs in the building and public works sector, EBC considers that the deal at hand deserves the support of EU lawmakers and should be adopted in time before the upcoming European elections. EBC therefore calls upon MEPs to vote in favour of the final agreement during the Plenary in Strasbourg tomorrow on Tuesday 12 March 2024, for a historic achievement towards a more sustainable construction sector.

With this crucial step, the craft trades and SMEs in the construction sector hope to be able to turn their efforts towards the reality on the ground, where this new legislation must be put into practice holistically in conjunction with a number of other relevant legislative initiatives. Indeed, Members States will need to ensure a quality transposition to foster a stable, boosted, and clear path for the energy efficient renovation of the existing building stock, where citizens and property owners are convinced of the added value of better buildings, construction SMEs and crafts can deliver them, and the European Union gets on track with the ambition of the Renovation Wave.

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