EEP Group

MEPs back new EU rules for buildings’ energy performance

Published: Mon, 15 January 2024

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Seán Kelly MEP has welcomed the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee’s vote in favour of new rules to improve the energy efficiency of buildings across the EU (37 votes in favour, 20 against, 6 abstentions).  “Buildings account for over one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. We cannot ignore our building stock if we truly want the EU to achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050”, Kelly said.

MEP Kelly led negotiations aiming to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) for the largest political group in the Parliament, the EPP Group. Speaking from Strasbourg after Monday’s vote, Kelly confirmed that the deal would now be put to the Parliament for a plenary vote by March.

“The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy Committee has endorsed the deal reached in what was a crucial vote tonight. This is a very positive outcome and paves the way for a plenary vote on the deal by March. Negotiations on this Directive were challenging, which reflects the complex subject matter. Reaching political agreement has not been easy and I have worked particularly hard in winning cross-party support for the overall revision in that regard.

“In negotiations, I strived to balance measures to increase the energy efficiency of buildings with enough flexibility to enable Member States to have a role in determining exactly how they reach certain thresholds along the way. It is also essential that owners of private buildings are encouraged and incentivised to increase the energy performance of their buildings”, Kelly said.

The revised rules aim to ensure that by 2030, all new buildings in the EU are zero-emission structures, and by 2050, existing building stock undergoes a transformation into zero-emission buildings.

In outlining key aspects of the deal, Kelly noted that the “significant outcome of the agreement is the inclusion of Article 9a, focusing on the deployment of suitable solar energy installations in new buildings, public buildings, and existing non-residential structures undergoing renovation requiring a permit”.

When it comes to minimum energy performance standards in non-residential buildings, the deal sets out that by 2030 all non-residential buildings will be above the 16% worst performing standards and by 2033 above 26%. For residential buildings, Member States would need to achieve a 16% reduction in average energy consumption by 2030 and a range of between 20-22% by 2035. Notably, 55% of this energy reduction must be accomplished through the renovation of the worst-performing buildings.

 On the transition away from fossil fuel boilers, the incorporation of a roadmap within the National Building Renovation Plans has been agreed. This roadmap outlines the phased elimination of fossil fuels in boilers, with the aim of complete phase-out by 2040.

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