What's new in the EU?EU energy in buildings

In May 2010 a recast of the Energy Performance in Buildings EU directive was adopted in order to strenghten and streamline the energy performance of buildings requirements. This recast is Directive 2010/31/EU and a copy is available on our website here.

Why more energy in buildings regulation?

Despite the actions already undertaken, very large cost-efficient energy saving potential remain available. This is partly due to the complexity of the sector and the existence of market failures, but also to some limitations of the wording, the scope of some provisions of the current European Performance in Building Directives (EPBD) and the low level of ambition of its implementation by some Member States.

The current EU energy status

The EPBD is the main Community legal tool towards efficient energy use in the buildings sector. The main objective of the EPBD is to promote the cost-effective improvement of the overall energy performance of buildings.

Its provisions cover energy needs for space and hot water heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting for new and existing, residential and non-residential buildings. Most of the existing provisions apply to all buildings, regardless of their size and whether in residential or non-residential use. Some provisions only apply to specific building types. The Directive combines, in a legal text, different regulatory (such as the requirement for Member States to set energy performance requirements for new and large existing buildings that undergo major renovation) and information-based instruments (such as energy performance certifacates, inspection of heating and air-conditioning requirements).

The EPBD does not fix EU-wide levels, but requires Member States to lay down the concrete requirements and relevant mechanisms.

Further action – EPBD recast

Despite the actions already undertaken in EPBD 1, a lot of cost-efficient energy saving potential remain unexploited. This means that a lot of the potential social, economic and environmental benefits at national and EU level are not fully taken advantage of. This is due to the complexity of the sector and the existence of market failures, but also to some limitations of the wording and scope of some provisions of the current EPBD and the low level of ambition of its implementation by some Member States.

Summary of the new EPBD Recast Directive

The main principles of the previous EPBD have been retained and the role of Member States in setting up the concrete requirements is also the same.

The important points for building owners that directive 2011/31/EU (EPBD 2 Directive) requires member states to follow is:

  1. The EPC rating (A to G) will require to be contained within marketing material of all types whether electronic or print media.
  2. The EPC will be more detailed with more information about paybaack and how to proceed with the recommendations.
  3. Public buildings that are larger than 500 sq m will require an EPC.
  4. Commercial buildings larger than 500 sq m that are visited by the public will require EPCs.

Directive 2010/31/EU - SNAPSHOT

Our Directive 2010/31/EU SNAPSHOT is available for viewing and downloading here.