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General

Revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) adopted by Parliament and Council (GEN – 903.00)

14 May 2018

5 min read
European Policy
General

Revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) adopted by Parliament and Council (GEN – 903.00)

14 May 2018

5 min read

GEN – 903.00. The text of the revised EPBD has been adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April and by the Council on 14 May 2018. The publication in the Official Journal of the European Union will be forthcoming. The revised EPBD will enter into force 20 days after publication and the transition period for the Member States to implement the revised EPBD is 20 months.

Revised EPBD

In their press release, the European Parliament and Council stress that the revised EPBD improves energy efficiency in buildings and encourages building renovation. Decarbonising the existing, highly inefficient European building stock is one of its long-term goals. The EPBD promotes cost-effective renovation work, introduces a smartness indicator for buildings, simplifies the inspections of heating and air conditioning systems and promotes electro-mobility by setting up a framework for parking spaces for electric vehicles.

In reality no real harmonisation is achieved at European level, each Member State will continue as before with its own calculation and evaluation models. The introduction of new requirements will add to the overall complexity. The introduction of harmonised standards linking product requirement (Ecodesign) with building requirements (EPBD) may offer some consolation.

Comments

Healthy indoor climate

Member states are asked to assess this (no European view) and it remains unclear what this will mean. Possibly different requirements in Member States, expected at earliest by 2020/2021 and only in a few Member States. The annex of the proposes EPBD mentions that indoor air quality and comfort levels are defined by Member States at national or regional level.

Article 14

Member States shall lay down the necessary measures to establish regular inspections of the accessible parts of heating systems or of systems for combined space heating and ventilation, with an effective rated output of over 70 kW, such as the heat generator, control system and circulation pump(s) used for heating buildings. The inspection shall include an assessment of the efficiency and sizing of the heat generator compared with the heating requirements of the building and, where relevant, consider the capabilities of the heating system or of the system for combined space heating and ventilation to optimise its performance under typical or average operating conditions.

It seems that ventilation has been inserted at the last moment without reflecting on the 70-kW requirement.

Article 15

Inspection of air-conditioning systems

  1. Member States shall lay down the necessary measures to establish regular inspections of the accessible parts of air-conditioning systems or of systems for combined air-conditioning and ventilation, with an effective rated output of over 70kW. The inspection shall include an assessment of the efficiency and sizing of the air-conditioning system compared with the cooling requirements of the building and, where relevant, consider the capabilities of the air-conditioning system or of the system for combined air-conditioning and ventilation to optimise its performance under typical or average operating conditions.

      See previous remark, in the text heating and air conditioning are mixed up with regards to ventilation.

Press releases

The European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure amended the Commission proposal as follows:

Long-term renovation: Member States shall establish a long-term strategy to support the renovation of the national stock of residential and non-residential buildings, both public and private, into a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050, with a view to the long-term 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Union by 80-95% compared to 1990.

National strategies shall contain a road map with indicative milestones for 2030, 2040 and 2050 including measurable progress indicators to achieve a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock and to ensure that the long-term renovation strategies deliver the necessary progress towards the transformation of existing buildings into nearly zero-energy buildings, in particular by an increase in deep renovations.

Financial incentivesincentives and financial mechanisms shall be central to national long-term renovation strategies. In order to support the mobilisation of investment in the necessary renovation work, Member States shall facilitate access to appropriate mechanisms for:

  • The aggregation of projects, including by investment platforms or groups, and by consortia of small and medium-sized enterprises, to enable investor access as well as packaged solutions for potential clients
  • The reduction of the perceived risk of energy efficiency operations for investors and the private sector
  • The use of public funding to leverage additional private-sector investment or address specific market failures
  • Guiding investments into an energy efficient public building stock, in line with Eurostat guidance
  • Accessible and transparent advisory tools, such as one-stop-shops for consumers and energy advisory services, on relevant energy efficiency renovations and financing instruments

Member States shall provide clear guidelines and outline measurable, targeted actions as well as promote equal access to financing, including for the worst performing segments of the national building stock, for energy-poor consumers and for social housing.

New buildings: Member States shall:

  • Take the necessary measures to ensure that new buildings meet the minimum energy performance requirements
  • Ensure that, before construction of new buildings starts, the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of high-efficiency alternative systems, if available, is taken into account
  • Encourage, in relation to buildings undergoing major renovation, high-efficiency alternative systems, in so far as this is technically, functionally and economically feasible, and shall address the issues of healthy indoor climate conditions, fire safety and risks related to intense seismic activity

Technical building systems, electromobility: Member States shall require new buildings, where feasible, to be equipped with self-regulating devices for the separate regulation of the temperature in each room or, where justified, in a designated heated zone of the building unit.

The amended Directive introduces electromobility requirements for new buildings and those undergoing major renovations, such as the presence of at least one recharging point for electric vehicles in buildings with more than 10 parking spaces.

It also requires that the ducting infrastructure installation, i.e. the conduits for the passage of electrical cables, be installed for at least one out of five parking spaces, in order to allow the subsequent installation of charging points for electric vehicles.

The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council by 1 January 2023 on the potential contribution of a Union building policy to the promotion of electromobility and shall, if appropriate, propose measures in that regard.

Inspection of heating and air-conditioning systems: The rules on the control of heating and air-conditioning systems have been strengthened.

The inspection shall include an assessment of the efficiency and sizing of the air-conditioning system compared with the cooling requirements of the building and, where relevant, consider the capabilities of the air-conditioning system or of the system for combined air-conditioning and ventilation to optimise its performance under typical or average operating conditions.

Smart readiness indicator: The smart readiness indicator shall be used to measure the capacity of buildings to use information and communication technologies and electronic systems to adapt the operation of buildings to the needs of the occupants and the grid and to improve the energy efficiency and overall performance of buildings.

The Commission shall adopt, by 31 December 2019, a delegated act to complement the Directive by establishing an optional common Union scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings.

Recommendation

The manufacturers are encouraged to closely watch the changes that will appear in the national implementations of the EPBD over the next two years. The actual implementations with changes to the existing national EPDD transpositions can be expected by 2020/2021. In the meantime, some Member States are at regular intervals updating or modifying their implementations.

Participation in CEN TC 371 may help to get a number of harmonised standard adopted so that in some areas an amount of harmonisation is achieved.

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