Directive on the energy performance of buildings – EPBD

This legislative framework is intended to achieve a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050 in line with the Green Deal objectives. It regulated the delivery of information to consumers and buildings in relation to building performance to support their choices and investments. As any other directive it needs to be implemented at national level.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was amended in 2018 and 2019 and is expected to be amended again as part of the Renovation Wave strategy.

The EPBD covers a broad range of policies and supportive measures pushing Member States to boost energy performance of buildings and improve the existing building stock by implementing actions. For example:

  • Establish strong long-term renovation strategies, in line with the national energy and climate plans (NECPs) energy efficiency targets.
  • Set cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings, for existing buildings undergoing major renovation, and for the replacement or retrofit of building elements like heating and cooling systems, roofs and walls.
  • Require all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB).
  • Demand the issuance of energy performance certificates when a building is sold or rented.
  • Establish inspection schemes for heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Introduce minimum requirements for certain car parks supporting electro-mobility.
  • Implement an optional European scheme for rating the ‘smart readiness’ of buildings.
  • Promote smart technologies including building automation and control systems.
  • Address health and well-being of building users, for instance through the consideration of air quality and ventilation.
  • Draw up lists of financial measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

In addition, under the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), EU countries must make energy efficient renovations to at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned and occupied by central governments and National governments are recommended to only purchase buildings that are highly energy efficient.

EPBD focuses on energy performance
and should complement the assessment of building sustainability
according to European harmonised methodologies

This directive is linked to the Fit for 55 package together with the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and EU ETS.

The pending issues expected to be solved by the revision of the directive are:

  • Improving the quality and consistency of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).
  • Introduction of phased Minimum Energy Performance Standards for existing buildings to ensure progression towards more ambitious performance standards over time.
  • Address EPC reporting in Building Renovation Passports or in more generic Building logbooks.
  • Setting up deep energy renovation standard.
  • Implement a Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) for buildings.
  • Ensure coherent and reinforcing complementary frameworks e.g. Sustainable finance taxonomy.

EPBD is a major enabler, for reducing operational emissions of buildings and its evolution should be consistent and complementary with whole life cycle emissions of buildings based on the further deployment of Level(s) which, is connected to Environmental Product Declarations.