Briefing: Renovating for Change: Understanding the revision process of the EU Buildings Directive

Energy transition

Written by Eva Brardinelli, Buildings Policy Coordinator, and Erman Erogan, Buildings Policy & Campaign Assistant at CAN Europe.


Τhis analysis is part of Eteron’s project
“Mind the Roof”. For more information click here

The upcoming EU elections signal a critical juncture for the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets. The ‘Fit for 55’ Package, a flagship initiative by the European Commission, aims to align EU law with the European Green Deal’s ambitions. One pivotal legislative file within the package, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), has the potential to lift millions of people out of energy poverty and renovate the 75% of the EU’s building stock that is energy inefficient.

The “Renovation Wave,” the core strategy of the EPBD, aims to double renovation rates by 2030, emphasizing the socio-economic benefits beyond climate action. This would be done through ambitious measures such as the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) that would ensure the EU’s leakiest buildings would be renovated, and a “Solar Mandate”, a mandatory requirement for both public and private buildings to be installed with solar.

These measures would have allowed households and buildings to reduce their energy consumption while simultaneously produce their own energy, helping to lower energy bills and reduce emissions within the buildings sector. However, opposition from parties with vested interests sought to weaken these measures and succeeded to some extent, hindering progress and turning the an instrument that sought to benefit millions of people, into a political background.

Yet, despite the detractors, the EPBD still has the potential to help millions and make a real meaningful contribution to the global fight against the climate crisis. As the EPBD enters implementation, Member States must prioritize social inclusivity and innovation to ensure a just transition. National Building Renovation Plans (NBRP) will be crucial component in realising the EPBD’s goals. Civil society campaigns like the Build Better Lives campaign advocate for ambitious implementation to address housing challenges comprehensively. Success lies in integrating energy upgrades into broader housing strategies, offering the promise of building better lives for all.