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

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.

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 

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.

Considering the strategic relevance of the ongoing discussions on energy efficiency in the Council and the forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), we would like to call for your full support for an ambitious revision of this key Directive.

The building sector, together with transports, represents the highest savings potential according to in-depth evaluations, and the EPBD revision is the opportunity to strengthen the business and investors’ confidence in this sector.

The revision of the EPBD must put existing buildings at the centre of the EU’s energy transition and can address EU and national key priorities such as job creation, economic growth, improved health and energy security.

We urge you to consider the strategic importance of setting a clear and coherent EU 2050 pathway towards a highly efficient and decarbonized building stock. Only a reliable long-term common vision will set the right framework for designing impactful national long-term renovation strategies that will boost private investments and will incentivize financing models, such as energy performance contracting, which can reduce the need of public financial support in building renovations.

A consistent legislative framework is needed to open up markets for 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. It is also essential to secure meaningful improvements of the technical building systems, leveraging the potential of building automation and controls for optimised energy performance.

On 11 October the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament adopted with a large multi-partisan majority an ambitious report that grasp this potential.

We trust you will take into account our recommendation and will embrace Mr Bendtsen’s report adopted in ITRE Committee. More information about our positions on the EPBD are available in our Position Papers.

EU-ASE is willing to have a constructive dialogue with you and all EU28 Member States and we offer our availability to meet you in the forthcoming weeks to discuss the strategic importance of a solid EU regulatory framework for energy efficiency in buildings.

European Alliance to Save Energy views on the draft ITRE Report on the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes Mr Bendtsen MEP’s draft report on the EPBD revision

Dear Members,

Re: European Alliance to Save Energy views on the draft ITRE Report on the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes Mr Bendtsen MEP’s draft report on the EPBD revision which sets a very good basis for the EPBD to support the reduction of energy consumption of the existing building stock, in line with the Efficiency First principle. We fully endorse the rapporteur’s view that “an ambitious and future-proof Directive for the Energy Performance of Buildings is (…) needed to secure a highly energy efficient and decarbonised European building stock.”

EU-ASE regrets that yesterday the Energy Council has reached a General Approach on a very weak EPBD text which waters down the Commission’s proposal. The General Approach has weakened many provisions which do not set a clear and coherent EU 2050 pathway towards a highly efficient and decarbonized building stock and do not ensure any meaningful improvement on technical building systems.

In this perspective, EU-ASE is ready to offer support to all ITRE Committee Members to further improve and strengthen some articles to get an ambitious revision of the EPBD and make it a true success for citizens, businesses and investors.

EU-ASE has identified 3 main areas where the draft report should be enhanced:

• The EPBD must be aligned and coherent with a cost-effective EU energy efficiency target: the EPBD should head towards achieving an overall binding 40% energy efficiency target. This level of ambition, already supported by the European Parliament, is pivotal for the EU to deliver on the Paris Agreement and ensure the expected savings alongside health, energy security and jobs benefits. This ambition is based on in-depth evaluation of the aggregated savings potentials in key sectors, notably buildings and transport, and is entirely feasible under current market conditions with existing technologies.

• Further strengthening of ambitious national long-term renovation strategies: we welcome the rapporteur’s approach to link and clarify the contribution of these strategies to the achievement of the EU 2030 target for energy efficiency. In this sense, EU-ASE fully endorses the requirement to Member States to shape comprehensive and ambitious building renovation strategies, and to make clear their contribution to the achievement of the EED target.

We encourage ITRE members to support and consolidate these strategies:

– The objective should now be on reinforcing the national renovation strategies with a focus on worst performing buildings, the addition of trigger points, a new milestone set at 2040 and the clarification that the 2050 final goal is to ensure a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock (in line with the correct implementation of the Efficiency First principle).

– Member States should be encouraged to plan their renovation strategies in terms of district and entire energy systems to reap the full potential of high-efficiency energy demand and supply solutions and achieve energy efficiency gains throughout the entire energy chain. By doing so, renovation strategies will also achieve synergies in terms of possible use of waste heat, and integrations of various parts of energy systems (heat, electricity, buildings and transport) adding to potential energy gains.

– Further strengthening is necessary to ensure that the long-term renovation strategies lead to concrete actions. The national strategies must have a differentiated approach and targets for buildings categories to consider cost-competitiveness and streamline the mobilization of financing. They should also make room for energy performance services and contracts that can contribute towards significant energy savings with little to no capex in short periods of time.

– Building Renovation Passports should be fostered as tools to accelerate and support ambitious, coordinated step-by-step building renovation.

• Optimising Technical Building Systems: the report is missing meaningful improvements for provisions related to technical building systems, that would fully embrace the cost-effective potential for energy management at building level through building automation, control, monitoring, management systems and built-in lighting. Notably, strengthened articles 8.5, 8.6, Article 14 and Article 15 are critical to ensure appropriate adjustment and control of technical building systems. In order to accelerate renovation and enable buildings’ connectivity to the energy system, key functionalities shall be prescribed in non-residential buildings over 250 MWh/a and in residential buildings with central technical building system of over 100kw power. Additionally, appropriate control functionalities in individual rooms are needed in particular in those residential buildings.

Further details on our positions concerning both the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) are included in the Position Papers enclosed to this letter.

European Alliance to Save Energy views on the current position of the Maltese Presidency on the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) revision 

Dear Ambassador Kerr,

Re: European Alliance to Save Energy views on the current position of the Maltese Presidency on the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) revision 

We understand that on June 26, the Council will probably agree on a general approach on the EPBD while it will be not possible to reach an agreement on the EED.

We would like to express our concern regarding this situation and in particular regarding the risk of a an agreement on a very weak EPBD text which waters down the Commission’s proposal, fails in putting existing buildings at the centre of the EU’s energy transition, does not set a clear and coherent EU 2050 pathway towards a highly efficient and decarbonized building stock and does not ensure any meaningful improvement on technical building systems.

In addition the current EPBD text misses the opportunity to link with the EDD at the expense of the overall coherence of the future European energy efficiency regulatory framework.

In this perspective, we are ready to offer our support to make sure that European businesses and investors will get the much needed ambitious revision of the EPBD.

We have identified 3 main areas that should be enhanced:

1. The EPBD must be aligned and coherent with a cost-effective EU energy efficiency target: the EPBD should also head towards achieving an overall binding 40% energy efficiency target. This level of ambition is pivotal for the EU to deliver on the Paris Agreement and ensure the expected savings alongside health, energy security and jobs benefits. This ambition is based on in-depth evaluation of the aggregated savings potentials in key sectors, notably buildings and transport, and is entirely feasible under current market conditions with existing technologies.

2. Further strengthening of ambitious national long-term renovation strategies: the EPBD should link and clarify the contribution of these strategies to the achievement of the EU 2030 target for energy efficiency. In this sense, we would fully endorse the requirement to Member States to shape comprehensive and ambitious building renovation strategies, and to make clear their contribution to the achievement of the EED target.

We encourage you to support and consolidate these strategies by:

– Reinforcing the national renovation strategies with a focus on worst performing buildings, the addition of trigger points, a new milestone set at 2040 and the clarification that the 2050 final goal is to ensure a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock (in line with the correct implementation of the Efficiency First principle).

– Plan renovation strategies in terms of district and entire energy systems to reap the full potential of high-efficiency energy demand and supply solutions and achieve energy efficiency gains throughout the entire energy chain. By doing so, renovation strategies will also achieve synergies in terms of possible use of waste heat, and integrations of various part of energy systems (heat, electricity, buildings and transport) adding to potential energy gains.

– Have a differentiated approach and targets for buildings categories to consider cost-competitiveness and streamline the mobilization of financing. They should also make room for energy performance services and contracts that can contribute towards significant energy savings with little to no capex in short periods of time.

– Foster Building Renovation Passports as tools to accelerate and support ambitious, coordinated step-by-step building renovation.

3. Optimising Technical Building Systems: the current EPBD text is missing meaningful improvements for provisions related to technical building systems that would fully embrace the cost-effective potential for energy management at building level through building automation, control, monitoring, management systems and built-in lighting. Notably, strengthened articles 8.5, 8.6, Article 14 and Article 15 are critical to ensure appropriate adjustment and control of technical building systems. In order to accelerate renovation and enable buildings’ connectivity to the energy system, key functionalities shall be prescribed in non-residential buildings over 250 MWh/a and in residential buildings with central technical building system of over 100kw power. Additionally, appropriate control functionalities in individual rooms are needed in particular in those residential buildings.

Further details on our positions concerning both the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) are included in our Position Papers.

Pacchetto legislativo “Clean Energy for All Europeans”, Direttiva Efficienza Energetica: osservazioni sulla posizione espressa dal governo italiano al Consiglio informale dei Ministri dell’energia, Malta 18/19 maggio 2017.

Egregio Ministro,

Oggetto: Pacchetto legislativo “Clean Energy for All Europeans”, Direttiva Efficienza Energetica: osservazioni sulla posizione espressa dal governo italiano al Consiglio informale dei Ministri dell’energia , Malta 18/19 maggio 2017. 

Con la presente, vorremmo esprimere la nostra preoccupazione sulla posizione assunta dall’Italia rispetto all’Art.7 della Direttiva Europea sull’Efficienza Energetica (DEE).

La European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) e’ un’associazione europea multisettoriale. Tra i membri di EU-ASE vi sono alcune rilevanti imprese multinazionali che impiegano collettivamente 340.000 persone nei 28 Stati membri dell’Unione Europea e generano un fatturato congiunto di circa €115 miliardi di Euro; ne fanno parte anche alcune importanti organizzazioni della società civile e un gruppo di deputati europei di diversa estrazione politica.

Come lei sa, questi sono mesi importanti per la definizione della politica energetica europea ed italiana. La Presidenza maltese del Consiglio dei Ministri della UE ha intenzione di decidere entro giugno la posizione comune sulla DEE e sulla direttiva sulla prestazione energetica nell’edilizia. Si tratta di due direttive veramente importanti per assicurare che la UE sia nelle condizioni di rispettare gli impegni presi a Parigi e allo stesso tempo rilanciare occupazione e attività economica. In questo contesto, ci siamo permessi di scriverLe nelle scorse settimane e il 29 maggio prossimo una delegazione composta dai dirigenti della imprese membri di EU-ASE incontrerà a Roma il Dott. Napoletano e la Dott.ssa Romano, nell’attesa di poterLa incontrare direttamente in una prossima occasione.

Al Consiglio Informale dei Ministri dell’Energia del 18 e 19 Maggio scorso, abbiamo appreso di una proposta Italiana sull’art. 7 della direttiva sull’EE, che ha lo scopo di ridurne radicalmente il livello di ambizione attuale, già modesto, portando gli obiettivi di risparmio da conseguire annualmente da parte degli utenti finali dall’1,5% all’1% dopo il 2025.

L’intenzione dichiarata è quella di evitare che un target troppo ambizioso possa mettere in pericolo la crescita economica. Ci permettiamo di osservare che, lungi da determinare un ostacolo per la crescita, una politica ambiziosa in materia di efficienza energetica può avere importanti ricadute positive in materia di occupazione e attività economica, come peraltro riconosciuto nella recente presentazione della SEN al Senato. Le disposizioni contenute nell’art.7, soprattutto se rese più complete e più facilmente applicabili, rappresentano un tassello fondamentale di un quadro normativo coerente in grado di facilitare la riduzione della dipendenza energetica italiana e stimolare investimenti privati e pubblici, in particolare nei settori dei trasporti, dell’industria e nell’ambito delle tecnologie, dei materiali e dei servizi per l’edilizia. Nel settore dell’edilizia, considerato che due terzi degli edifici esistenti sono stati costruiti prima del 1976, ovvero prima della prima legge sull’efficientamento energetico, il potenziale in termini di miglioramento della loro qualità energetica é enorme.

Insomma, rivedere gli obblighi al ribasso significa mandare un segnale negativo a investitori e consumatori e rallentare ulteriormente la necessaria azione per ridurre il consumo energetico che resta urgente anche in Italia. Infatti, benché l’intensità energetica italiana sia minore rispetto alla media comunitaria, questo dato va preso con cautela perché è riconducibile alle particolari condizioni climatiche di cui beneficia il paese e ai consumi di un parco automobilistico di cilindrata complessivamente inferiore rispetto alle altre grandi economie europee. Inoltre, i dati sull’intensità energetica negli edifici ci dicono che la situazione, tra il 2000 e il 2013, é di fatto peggiorata rispetto agli altri paesi europei.

Quindi resta ancora molto da fare; esistono ingenti risorse europee e una grande disponibilità di investimenti privati in questo settore. Per questo, abbiamo considerato importante la lettera sottoscritta dal governo italiano con la Spagna e altri paesi, volta ad ottenere una modifica nelle regole contabili del Patto di stabilità e a fare sì che spese incorse a favore dell’efficienza energetica possano stare fuori dal calcolo della spesa pubblica. Questa iniziativa è vista con favore dalla Commissione europea e dal Parlamento Europeo. Ma se si dovessero diluire gli impegni per l’attuazione di norme vincolanti, nell’ambito di una strategia di lungo periodo, sarebbe più difficile ottenere un ridefinizione virtuosa delle regole attuali.

In una situazione nella quale il Consiglio è attraversato da molte divisioni, ci preoccupa il fatto che questa proposta possa ulteriormente indebolire il quadro legislativo comune: infatti, già oggi la normativa prevede una serie di eccezioni, come ad esempio l’esclusione dei trasporti, che hanno di fatto ridotto della metà il potenziale di riduzione dei consumi energetici che avrebbe dovuto essere generato dall’Art. 7.

Egregio Ministro, alla luce di tutto ciò, la invitiamo a rivedere posizioni che indeboliscono l’impianto generale della DEE e che possano avere ricadute negative sull’economia italiana.