13 Feb, 2023

Renew Europe: Sustainable buildings, sustainable future

Renew Europe Group welcomed the backing of the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) last week, a key driver within the framework of the Fit for 55 package to achieve a zero-emission building stock by 2050. Current EU building stock accounts for 40% of energy consumed and 36% of energy-related direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. 

Building on the European Commission proposal, the revision asks for more ambitious minimum energy performance standards and tighter timetables, but also flexibility for residential buildings. The compromise highlights that eliminating energy waste from buildings is the most straightforward opportunity to reduce emissions, decrease demand for energy imports and lower costs for households and businesses. 

Among the most important measures of the final compromise is that fossil fuel-based heating systems and financial incentives for installation will be restricted and eventually phased out. Furthermore, sustainable mobility infrastructure standards have been reinforced, by introducing a proportionate number of charging points, as well as pre-cabling for parking space and bicycle spaces, considering the total user capacity. 

During the negotiation process, Renew Europe stressed the importance of tackling administrative obstacles for the rapid decarbonisation of EU building stock through renovation, application of latest technologies and digital solutions, as well as from renewable sources and further strengthening and promotion of energy communities’ district heating/cooling. 

Morten Helveg Petersen MEP (Radikale Venstre, DK), Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and Shadow Rapporteur on the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), said: 

"The poor energy performance in European buildings is sponsoring Putin's war machine, increasing energy costs for citizens, and constituting a climate disaster in itself. It is critically important that we now bring our buildings to the centre stage and begin a renovation wave towards a green building stock in Europe. Our citizens have the desire, our businesses have the solutions, and today the ITRE committee delivered a strong political framework that works to preserve, not waste, the good energy in European homes." 

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