Addressing the structural shortcomings of European buildings, given there substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, is a stepping stone towards the achievement of the climate goals. Therefore, a paradigmatic shift in the building sector is needed to improve its overall energy performance, to move away from the use of all fossil fuels and develop sustainable and circular practices across the whole value chain, while contextually reaping all the multiple environmental, social and economic benefits that are associated with a future-proof stock.
The 2021 revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), as part of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 package, is pivotal to tap into the energy savings potential of the EU building stock and accelerate its decarbonisation. The limitations of the current framework should be addressed to translate the higher climate ambition into more stringent and effective measures to substantially increase the rate of deep renovations and move towards a building sector that is highly energy efficient, sustainable and renewable-based only.
This briefing provides a concise overview of this key piece of legislation and its recent developments. It also puts forward a set of recommendations on how the existing Directive should be strengthened to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal. These include:
A stronger policy framework
- Strengthening the Long-Term Renovation Strategies
- Improving the Energy Performance Ceritficates
- Future-proofing the Nearly-Zero Energy Building definition
Measures to increase annual deep renovation rates to at least 3%
- Introducing mandatory minimum energy performance standards
- Setting a deep renovation definition