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14 APR 2022

The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

“The EPBD is a critical piece of EU legislation in the combat against climate change and for RICS Europe it’s revision is an opportunity not to be missed. RICS encourages the EU to ensure that new buildings and refurbishments will be required to be both energy and carbon efficient in the revised EPBD, as well as contributing to the uptake of the circular economy in the construction sector.”

-Tina Paillet, Senior Vice President of RICS

The European Commission presented its proposal for the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to enable the decarbonisation of Europe’s building stock by 2050.

The decarbonisation of the buildings sector is vital to deliver on the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate and energy objectives, given that buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. In the Climate Target Plan 2030, the Commission has proposed to cut net greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.

Why is the EPBD being reviewed?

Energy efficiency is an essential component of action. To achieve a net 55% emission reduction target by 2030, the EU needs to reduce buildings’ energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 60% compared to 2015 levels. As announced in the Green Deal[1], the Commission presented its Renovation Wave communication on 14 October 2020, containing an action plan with concrete regulatory, financing and enabling measures, with the objective to at least double the annual energy renovation rate of buildings by 2030 and to foster deep renovations.

The existing legislation is not sufficient to achieve that goal. Therefore, a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is necessary to deliver on the Renovation Wave.

The building sector is crucial for achieving the EU's energy and environmental goals. At the same time, better and more energy-efficient buildings will improve the quality of citizens' life and alleviate energy poverty while bringing additional benefits, such as health and better indoor comfort levels, and green jobs, to the economy and society.

To boost the energy performance of buildings, the EU has established a legislative framework that includes the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU[2] and the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU[3].

The two directives will promote policies to:

  1. achieve a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050
  2. create a stable environment for investment decisions
  3. enable consumers and businesses to make more informed choices to save energy

Our response

We have actively participated in the legislative process by offering to the Commission, and the European Parliament the expertise of our members in a broader sense and promoting RICS standards on consistent floor measurement. We strive for a consistent approach to implementation across the EU.

In July, we submitted amendments which focus on the inclusion of (international) standards such as IPMS. We can confirm now that our amendments have been tabled by Ciarán Cuffe, the rapporteur of the EPBD and Jens Gaier.

RICS responded to a recent consultation, which you can find on the European Commission’s website. Feedback from: RICS (europa.eu)

Europance of the EPBD

From our perspective, the EPBD is central to the mitigation of Climate Change, and this means addressing decarbonization in both Embodied Carbon as well as Operational Carbon and addressing Resource Efficiency and Waste & Pollution reduction via the Circular Economy. The following points should be prioritised in the revision of the EPBD:

  1. The Need for Minimum Energy Performance Standards
  2. The Development of Renovation Passport
  3. Whole Life Cycle Carbon Reporting
  4. The Development of Global Warming Potential methodology
  5. Address Whole Life Carbon reduction through Circularity

Attached you can find our feedback[4] to the European Commission regarding the EPBD consultation and a description of the relevant issues.

What is next?

The committee vote is scheduled for 28 October. From September we will be approaching the main political parties to support these amendments.

We invite all members to submit their observations and contributions regarding our feedback to the Commission and amendment, which were developed in cooperation with the RICS Europe Sustainability Working Group. Should you be interested in joining this Working Group, we invite you to contact us.

Contact

Sander Scheurwater

Head of Public Affairs Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (AEMEA)

RICS

m +32 474 98 72 16

sscheurwater@rics.org  

 

[1] A European Green Deal | European Commission (europa.eu)

[2] L_2010153EN.01001301.xml (europa.eu)

[3] L_2012315EN.01000101.xml (europa.eu)

[4] The feedback can also be found at the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12910-Energy-efficiency-Revision-of-the-Energy-Performance-of-Buildings-Directive/details/F2955560_en