Member States are required to transpose new EU rules on the use of energy in buildings into national law by 10 March 2020, thereby helping citizens to consume less energy, save money and live in healthier buildings. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive as amended by Directive (EU) 2018/844 (EPBD), agreed as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, also sets 10 March 2020 as the deadline for Member States to put in place national long-term building renovation strategies, setting the path, policy measures and mobilise financing needed to decarbonise their existing building stock by 2050.
The legislation that is now applicable all over the EU includes measures that will accelerate the rate of building renovation, strengthen the energy performance of new buildings and make them smarter.
This is important as the EU building sector is the largest single energy consumer in Europe and is responsible for 36% of the EU CO2 emissions. In addition to saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions, the new rules will create jobs, help alleviate energy poverty and improve comfort and sanitary conditions of dwellings.
The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. In doing so, the Commission is guided by three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers.
Significant upfront investment is required for the refurbishment of buildings. The EPBD is a substantial element of the European Commission’s work to make buildings more efficient and boost renovation. This work is accompanied by enabling tools for example the revised Eurostat guidance for energy performance contracts which will help the building sector increase the necessary investments, see IP/17/3268. It works in synergy with the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings Initiative. Furthermore, with the extended European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI 2.0), the Commission focuses more on sustainable investments in all sectors to contribute to meeting the EU’s energy and climate targets and to help to deliver on the transition to a resource efficient, circular and low-carbon economy. At least 40% of EFSI projects under the infrastructure and innovation window should contribute to the Commission’s commitments on climate action and energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement objectives, see MEMO/17/3224.