Environmental policiesPolicy and Affairs

Energy Performance of Buildings, the Directive today to the vote of the EU Parliament: all that awaits us

The European Parliament’s plenary vote on the EPBD Energy Performance Buildings Directive is expected today. Many controversies reserved by some European countries to the rule that requires a progressive efficiency of the real estate of all member countries. The green light today will allow the text fired a few weeks ago by the Industry, Research and Energy Commission (ITRE), to move to the Trialogue to negotiate the final text. At that point it will be up to the Member States to transpose the Directive and define the national timetables.

Residential construction

According to the Energy Performance Buildings Directive, by 2030 all residential buildings will have to be at least class E, to rise to D by 2033. The minimum target proposed will be a priority adaptation of 15 % of the most energy-intensive buildings, that is, located in the lowest energy classes.

However, Member States will have derogations for particular types of buildings, with an estimated 22%. Among the possible excluded from the obligations are historical buildings or of particular architectural value, technical buildings and places of worship. Each Member State may also decide to exempt certain social public housing “where renovation work would lead to rent increases that cannot be offset by saving on energy bills” the text of the Directive voted by Itre.

Non-residential and public buildings should achieve the same goal (level E and then D) by 2027 and 2030 respectively.

New Net Zero construction since 2026 and solar energy

The indications of the text currently being examined by the plenary of the EU Parliament, set 2028 the obligation to build new buildings with zero emissions. For public facilities, however, the deadline is advanced by 2 years, to 2026. As soon as the Energy Performance Buildings Directive is transposed, there will be an obligation to install solar energy installations for all new non-residential public buildings. From December 2026, existing public buildings will also have to adapt, before reaching the end of 2028 when the obligation will trigger all major renovations.

Read also Update of the Energy Performance Buildings Directive: EESC green light

No more gas boilers

Another key point of the revision of the Directive EPBD approved by Itre is the farewell to heating systems powered by fossil fuels. From 2024, Member States will be called upon to eliminate all forms of facilitation for gas boilers, but since the transposition of the Directive, major new buildings and renovations must not include the use of plants fuelled by fossil fuels, except for hybrid systems (condensation and heat pump), bioethanol and hydrogen.

The problem of funding

The revised text contains a long paragraph devoted to the issue of funding, urging Member States to provide adequate economic support by encouraging in particular the interventions carried out with deep restructuring.

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