Key energy stakeholders call for an ambitious revision of the EPBD

Together with 12 leading energy associations, the European Alliance to Save Energy calls on the European Commission to boost the decarbonisation of the EU building stock through an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. 

Buildings are a key part of the energy system, but most of them are energy inefficient and 75% of buildings’ energy consumption is still based on fossil fuels. The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is “make or break” occasion to decarbonise a sector that has to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030. 

In a joint letter addressed to Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy, and to Frans Timmermans, First Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) calls on the Commission to ensure that the EPBD revision leads the way to make our buildings energy efficient, renewables-based, flexible and integrated in the energy system. 

To support this objective, together with the co-signatories, EU-ASE recommends including the following provisions in the EPBD: 

  • Apply the Energy Efficiency First Principle to stimulate renovations aiming at highly energy efficient, renewable-based and flexible buildings integrated in the increasingly variable energy system. 
  • Ensure all new buildings are both highly efficient and renewable-based from 2025 onwards. 
  • Introduce a binding target on EU Member States to reach annual integrated renovations of at least 3% per year. 
  • Introduce mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all existing buildings to accelerate the rate and depth of renovations.  
  • Accompany MEPS with easily accessible support measures targeting lower-income households and businesses.  
  • Strengthen and harmonise Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) to become a reliable instrument to support the uptake of building renovations and drive the deployment of clean energy solutions. 
  • Include recommendations in EPCs on how to improve a building’s energy performance through energy efficiency measures and the deployment of digital and decentralised energy resources. 
  • Support the cost-effective integration of the increasingly electrified building and transport sectors by strengthening the existing e-mobility provisions . 
  • Provide better technical assistance, including to local and regional authorities, on the use of available funds and build capacity to increase demand and reduce hurdles. 

Read the full letter here

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EU-ASE at CAN Europe’s high level event on Fit for 55

On 14 October, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni, participated in the high-level event “Accelerating climate action in the EU and Member States through the Fit for 55 package and National Planning Processes”, organised by Climate Action Network Europe.

Monica Frassoni took the floor during the first panel discussion “Enhancing EU’s climate ambition through the Fit for 55 package”. Speakers included Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans; Ursula Woodburn, Corporate Leaders Group Europe; Benjamin Denis, IndustriAll Europe; Marcin Kowalczyk, WWF Poland and Wendel Trio, CAN Europe.

The recording of the panel can be found here.

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A three-step recipe to transform our buildings | EUSEW 2021

by Bertrand Deprez, Vice-President EU Government Affairs at Schneider Electric and board member of the European Alliance to Save Energy, & Céline Carré, Head of European Public Affairs at Saint-Gobain, a member of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

This is no secret: with more than 38% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, buildings represent one of the largest bulk of decarbonisation. And with 40% of energy consumption, they can even lead the energy efficiency race. However, so far, the efforts deployed at the European and national levels to accelerate the renovation of the buildings stock have not been sufficient to drive their long-term decarbonisation. If we want this to change, and to make highly efficient buildings in a fully decarbonised and connected energy system a reality, three levers should be activated simultaneously.

First, aligning hearts and minds around the unique contribution of buildings can happen via the joint revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Renewable Energy Directive. The Renovation Wave strategy has set the direction, but specific milestones and acceleration points now need to take shape. Among those are minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) on existing buildings, a tool to drive demand for renovation. Such MEPS should be deployed for first movers segments, such as non-residential and worst-performing residential buildings particularly affected by soaring energy prices. Then, new and existing buildings should be made fit for our 2050 carbon neutrality goals. In this journey, better accounting for reflecting emissions reduction potentials from new buildings and major renovations, on top of energy savings, will also help coordinate and align actions, especially when it comes to boosting the uptake of both energy efficiency measures and renewables, such as directly electrified solutions powered by renewables.

Second, unleashing new business models to finance and roll out renovations will ensure that the ambition is fulfilled. Deploying renovation and recovery is a combined challenge of preparedness and speed. The construction sector is getting ready with new approaches enabling to renovate faster and better. We need more innovators and integrators to plug these new business models together with available finance. The implementation of the post Covid-19 national recovery plans is a unique opportunity to fill the gap in this field.

Read the full article on the EUSEW 2021 blog

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Smart technologies for energy-efficient, decarbonised and more comfortable buildings

On 14 October, EU-ASE, together with eu.bac and LightingEurope organised a webinar on the review of the Energy Performance Of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the role of smart technologies to make EU building stock energy-efficient, decarbonised and more comfortable.

Most of the potential of digitalisation is still unexploited in buildings. The revision of the EPBD creates a unique opportunity to deploy a broad range of energy-efficient and smart technologies, from Artificial Intelligence, to Building Automation and Control Systems or smart lighting, among many other solutions.

The recording of the event is available here
The slides used during the presentation can be found here
The result of the polls here

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EU-ASE at high-level launch of Energy Efficiency First Guidelines

The president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni spoke at the high-level event “Recommendation and Guidelines on Energy Efficiency First: From principles to practice” organised by the European Commission’s DG ENER and CINEA on 28 September for the launch of its Guidelines on the Energy Efficiency first principle. 

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni called on the Commission to lead by example and apply the principle to their policy and regulatory work, starting from the forthcoming Energy Performance of Buildings Directive proposal. She also stressed the need for stronger integration of the water-energy nexus in the EU legislative framework. 

The event gathered stakeholders from both the energy and energy end-use sectors and from sustainable finance. The guidelines aim to support the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) principle in decision-making in the energy sector and beyond.  

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