Dear Minister,

Re: Leading energy efficiency companies call for an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) during forthcoming legislative negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. 

I am writing to you on behalf of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE). EU-ASE is a multi-sectoral business organisation whose members have operations in your country and across the 28 Member States of the European Union, employ 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 bn.

We are writing to you to call for your full support for an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), considering the strategic relevance of the ongoing discussions on energy efficiency in the Council and the forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament.

We are convinced that an ambitious revision of the EPBD is possible and can put existing buildings at the centre of the EU’s energy transition; all the more so after the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy at the European Parliament adopted with a large majority the ambitious report of Mr Bendt Bendtsen. The EPBD has the potential of addressing EU and national key priorities such as job creation, economic growth, improved health and energy security. A strong EPBD will also strengthen the business and investors’ confidence in the construction sector.

In this context, we would like to draw your attention on the recently revised Guidance Note on the recording of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) in governments’ accounts. The revision of the Guidance Note will greatly increase the possibilities for public bodies to use such contracts, by clarifying the criteria by which EPCs can be recorded off government balance sheets.

We are aware that the Italian government played an important role to remove this key barrier to investing in energy efficiency in public buildings.

The updated accounting rules are particularly important for countries like Italy, as they could further enhance the considerable potential for relaunching the construction sector – which was so heavily affected by the economic crisis – and improve the energy performance of the Italian building stock.

We also hope that the new Guidance can contribute to facilitate reaching a more positive and ambitious positioning by the Council in the up-coming negotiations, notably concerning four key priorities:

– Set an adequate framework for effective national long-term renovation strategies, that will boost private investments and will incentivize financing models, such as EPCs;

– Provide meaningful improvements for provisions related to technical building systems;

– Provide a comprehensive consideration of both energy efficient energy demand and supply solutions and services;

– Establish a clear and coherent EU 2050 pathway towards a highly efficient and decarbonized building stock.

For the business community, a consistent legislative framework is needed to open up markets for a broad variety of energy efficient technologies and solutions ranging from services enabling enhanced management of buildings to insulation, and from on-site and off-site heating and ventilation systems to lighting and control systems.

We trust you will take into account our recommendations and we are ready to meet you and further discuss in the forthcoming weeks the strategic importance of a solid EU regulatory framework for energy efficiency in buildings for the Italian and European economy.

More information about our positions on the EPBD are available in our Position Papers.

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