ELO has a long standing engagement in the promotion of a more energy efficient building stock in the future and acknowledges the role of buildings to achieve European climate goals.
On 14th May 2018, the EU Council adopted the final text of the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), part of the Clean Energy Package proposed by the European Commission at the end of 2016.
The final text shows a more appropriate approach to fostering energy efficiency of buildings than originally proposed, inserting some important caveats of technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness in some crucial provisions. ELO in coalition with its partner’s organisation, EHH, EPF & UIPI has been actively advocating for an appropriate balancing of obligations and requirement in order not to overburden private property owners. Especially in cases where a building undergoes a major renovation, energy efficiency obligations should remain realistic with regards to financial possibilities of private owners across Europe, and the potential impact on housing affordability should not be underestimated.
By opting for a voluntary smart readiness indicator (SRI), the Parliament and the Council made a step in the right direction recognising the need to first test such a tool prior to roll-out. Equally, having acknowledged adequate advice as being an effective alternative to inspection of heating and cooling systems, is an important step towards a more balanced approach. In addition, the greater contextualisation and framing of the requirements for electromobility should help reduce the burden on households and SMEs.
Although we support the enhancement of buildings’ energy performance across Europe in general, private heritage houses should be particularly taking care off to the extent that they have esthetical, social, legal and economic constraints which are very different from other types of buildings. The Energy Efficiency Directives are promoting the enhancement of Energy Performance Certificates enhancement, including deep renovation, and installation of smart meters which can negatively impact the maintenance of historic buildings, especially the ones not falling under the protected category.
Over the years, we have advocated for all Members States to make use of the existing article 4.2 of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) which leaves the possibility to exclude protected historic buildings from energy efficiency requirements. The EU Structural Fund should unlock funding mechanisms for heritage houses owners to energy efficiently refurbish their buildings while taking into account their constraints and need for cost effectiveness.
Following Council’s adoption, the text of the New Energy Performance in Buildings Directive came into force on 9th July 2018. The Directive entered into force 20 days after its publication, and Member States will then have to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law within 20 months. ELO will consciously follow the concrete implementation of the requirements at national level and consult its members.