Position paper on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive recast proposal

In December 2021, the European Commission presented its proposal for the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) among the final pieces of the so-called “Fit for 55” package, a set of legislative measures aiming at reaching at least 55% net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030 in line with the European Green Deal.

CAN Europe looks favourably at different elements of the EPBD recast proposal that strengthen the current policy architecture and that are needed to ensure that the building sector contributes to the bloc’s decarbonisation efforts. These include, for instance, the improvement of the national long-term planning under the Building Renovation Plans, of the Energy Performance Certificates’ framework as well as the renewed provisions on new buildings. However, several aspects of the proposal need to be amended to inject more ambition and develop a more coherent and comprehensive framework, with a view to help the EU fulfil its commitments under the Paris Agreement by achieving a fully decarbonised building stock across its whole life cycle.

Hence, CAN Europe calls on the European Parliament and the Council to improve the current recast proposal for the EPBD by:

  • Raising the ambition on minimum energy performance standards
  • Strengthening the deep renovation definition and promoting a one-step deep renovation approach
  • Ensuring the pioneer role of new buildings
  • Exploiting the full potential of Energy performance certificates
  • Securing adequate national long-term planning

This revision of the EPBD should look at consolidating the measures needed to trigger the transformational changes that the EU building sector has to undergo to reach a climate neutral future. Higher and deeper renovation rates of the existing building stock should be complemented by future-proof provisions on new construction, while introducing a holistic approach that minimises emissions and energy consumption across all stages of a building’s life-cycle, promoting circular and sustainable construction and renovation materials and practices.

The co-legislators should make full use of this opportunity to strengthen the Commission’s proposal and work to ensure better buildings for all. This will allow our society to harness the multiple benefits associated with an energy efficient, sustainable and fully renewable-based stock, especially in terms of energy poverty alleviation, reduced emissions, improved air quality, better health and comfort of homes, lower energy bills and a sustained economic recovery.