With a view to achieve the objectives of the Renovation Wave, the European Commission committed to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and to align it with the higher 2030 climate ambition as part of the so-called Fit for 55 package. In line with the vision set by the PAC Scenario, CAN Europe has criticised the inadequate level of ambition of the Renovation Wave to merely double current renovation rates.

Therefore, to materialise the needed increase in ambition, CAN Europe calls for a comprehensive and climate-proof revision of the EPBD to trigger the full decarbonisation of the building sector, ensuring that its energy efficiency potential is fully untapped and that it supports the shift towards a fully renewable and sustainable energy system.

As part of the revision process, on 30 March 2021 the Commission launched the public consultation, open for stakeholders’ feedback until 22 June.

CAN Europe’s contribution stressed the following key points:

  • Strengthening the EPBD framework and aligning it with the higher 2030 climate ambition is crucial to make sure the building sector supports the EU’s and the Member States’ efforts in reaching climate neutrality in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal.

  • The revision is an unmissable opportunity to materialise the Renovation Wave and enshrine its commitments into legislation, turning words into more ambitious actions needed to achieve at least a 3% annual deep renovation rate and meaningfully tackle energy poverty at national level.

  • A consistent set of strengthened measures and tools is needed to support the achievement of a highly energy efficient and fully decarbonised building stock. This should include, as a minimum: climate neutrality-aligned mandatory energy performance standards for existing buildingsstrengthened provisions on the Long-Term Renovation Strategies (linking them with national heating decarbonisation strategies) and on Energy Performance Certificates, enhanced framework for practical and financial support for both households and national authorities, as well as stronger provisions for fossil-free new buildings (i.e. introducing a ban on fossil fuels’ based installations in new buildings by 2025.

  • While streamlining the Energy Efficiency First principle to ensure that the reduction of buildings’ energy needs facilitates a faster penetration of renewable energy in the sector, a revised EPBD should also include a whole life cycle thinking so as to tackle embodied emissions and promote circularity and materials’ sustainability towards a fully sustainable built environment.