Energy Efficiency: EBC and its construction SMEs salute the approval by the European Parliament of the EPBD recast

On Tuesday 12th of March, the European Parliament in its plenary session in Strasbourg adopted with 370 positive votes, 199 negative votes and 46 abstentions the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Ahead of the vote, EBC and its construction SMEs called 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, EBC salutes this balanced compromise that should now provide a clear and stable regulatory framework to help construction SMEs deliver on the Renovation Wave.

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’s 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.

The next step will be the vote on the final EPBD recast text by the Member States in the European Council in April 2024. EBC encourages Energy Ministers to vote in favour of the compromise, so that the craft trades, and SMEs in the construction sector can turn their efforts towards the reality on the ground, where this new legislation must be put into practice holistically in conjunction with several other relevant legislative initiatives.

Long-term streamlined funding will be needed, as well as securing a skilled workforce, to accompany the work of transposition and implementation by Member States but such a positive vote will allow them to progress towards a more sustainable and energy efficient construction sector.

To read the full EBC Press Release on the EPBD recast dated 11 March 2024, click here