EPBD recast: EU Commission proposal shows good intentions but low ambition

The recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a key element to complete the “Fit for 55” package. The Commission’s proposal introduces better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, the overall ambition is not sufficient to tap the economic and environmental potential of the full decarbonisation of the EU building stock.

On Wednesday, the European Commission presented its proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The EPBD is one of the elements of the broad “Fit for 55” legislative package which aims to help the Union cut by at least 55% its GHG emissions by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050. Improving buildings’ energy performance is essential to achieve these objectives. According to the EU Renovation Wave communication buildings’ GHG emissions should be reduced by at least 60% by 2030: a gigantic social, economic and environmental challenge.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the intention of the Commission to address this challenge: the measures and tools proposed improve the current situation. The proposal, for example, introduces a pathway for buildings to become “Zero Emission” by 2050 and innovative requirements that can help trigger building renovations, like mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for public and private residential and non-residential buildings.

On the other hand, the Commission has been too cautious when setting the level of ambition of the measures proposed and thus runs the risk that the multiple benefits of energy renovations, in terms of cost savings, increased property value, enhanced comfort and emission reductions, will remain largely untapped.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, said: “The EPBD proposal is indisputably giving us better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, some key measures remain too weak in terms of proposed deadlines and scope and too much flexibility is given to Member states without a clear idea about what will happen if they are not fully implemented. All this makes the goal to fully decarbonize the building stock by 2050 even more challenging.

We will work over the next months to show to the European Parliament and Member States that it is necessary and worthwhile to step up the ambition, starting from revising the energy performance classes to be achieved via MEPS. Comprehensive renovations make economic and environmental sense. In the short-medium term, they are a rational, cost-effective and systemic solution to tackle rising energy prices. An ambitious EPBD must support this positive agenda, no ifs, and, or buts.”

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Media contact:
Antoan Montignier
Policy and Advocacy Advisor
antoan.montignier@euase.eu
+32 499 84 97 28

About us
The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to advance the energy efficiency agenda in the European Union. The Alliance allows world’s leading multinational companies to join environmental campaigners and a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament. EU-ASE business members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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10 years and going strong – 2021 in review

2021 has been another intense year for energy efficiency and Green Deal related issues. It was also a special one for the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) as we celebrated our 10th anniversary.

Throughout the year, the Alliance worked hard to implement an ambitious workplan which involved all members and was structured around four objectives:
• Energy efficiency boosted by policy and regulatory framework
• Unleashing the energy savings potential of water efficiency in EU legislation
• Financing energy efficiency
• Smart, digital and effective communication to achieve advocacy objectives

In a context still marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, EU-ASE was able to effectively support the promotion of energy efficiency to achieve sustainable recovery and meet the EU’s energy and climate goals.

 

Read the full report

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Making the Energy Efficiency Directive fit for 55%

Following the adoption of the Climate Law and in view of its higher climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the European Commission proposed to revise the Energy Efficiency Directive. Energy efficiency must become the bedrock of a decarbonised energy system.

Amending the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is the starting point for the Union to deliver on the necessary reduction of energy demand, to define and operationalise the Energy Efficiency First principle and to set the right policy mechanisms that would address the overall efficiency of the energy supply chain. These are the necessary conditions to achieve a highly efficient and renewable-based energy system in view of the full decarbonisation of our economy.

This paper contains the recommendations of the European Alliance to Save Energy to help making the EED fit for 55% and set the longer track to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

The recommendations touch upon:

  • Energy efficiency targets for increased ambition
  • Public sector leading by example
  • Expanding the scope to all public and private non-residential buildings
  • Public procurement
  • Align the Energy Savings Obligation with 2030 and 2050 ambition
  • Energy audits and management systems
  • Energy efficiency in Heating and Cooling
  • Demand response and efficiency in transformation and distribution networks
  • Availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes
  • Information and training
  • Energy services market
  • Energy efficiency national funds and other support mechanisms
  • Primary Energy Factor

Read the full paper

 

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Response to targeted review of the GBER with revised rules for State aid

The European Green Deal target to reach climate neutrality by 2050 calls for unprecedented levels of public and private investments accompanied by deep reforms. In this context, well-designed State Aid schemes will be key to unlock investments and make the best use of public funds.

The European Alliance to Save Energy is happy to provide its feedback on the revised GBER. Energy efficiency is the bedrock of a decarbonised EU energy system: energy efficiency gains are essential to achieve the increased GHG emission target reduction of 55% by 2030 and full decarbonisation by 2050.

In its current form, the revised GBER offers some welcomed added flexibility for the application of state aid to energy efficiency projects. Energy efficiency is a precondition for a full integration of renewables and the phase out fossil fuels. Yet, in its current form the GBER does not provide the necessary level playing field with renewable energy sources and other energy supply measures. In particular the aid intensity levels for energy efficiency are lower and the rules on eligible costs are far more complex to apply.

EU-ASE therefore calls on the European Commission to:

1. Enshrine and enforce the “Energy Efficiency First principle” in the GBER
2. Level the playing field between energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources (Art. 38 & 39 GBER)
3. Simplify cost eligibility and conditions for total cost eligibility (Art. 38)
4. Simplify the cconditions for the “incentive effect” (to favour the transition to MEPS)
5. Extend the scope of the Green Bonus (+ 15 points percentage) for high energy-efficiency projects

Download the full response
Download related response to the CEEAG
Read more in our paper: Boosting energy efficiency through the revision of State Aid rules

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MEPS paramount to address high energy prices and achieve the EU decarbonisation goals

Business organisations call for the introduction of mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards for the renovation of the buildings sector in the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Today, together with major business organisations advocating for energy efficiency solutions in Europe, we addressed a letter to energy Commissioner Kadri Simson regarding the incoming revision of the EPBD.

The EU building stock must undergo a profound renovation to make it energy efficient and cut emissions. The Renovation Wave strategy foresees that the rate of building renovations must at least double to achieve our climate objectives. Renovating buildings is also the best medium and long-term solution to maintain energy prices low for consumers.

The introduction of mandatory minimum energy performance standards for all buildings is essential for the EU to deliver on its promises to make the European Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy.

These standards can create the necessary regulatory framework to attract public and private investments, boosting the construction value chain and making the sector attractive to fill the skills gap.

Read the full letter here

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