Columnists: Rod Janssen, Independent consultant

Published on: 20 Apr 2009

Buildings – for our future

In coming days, the European Parliament will be voting on its position on the Commission proposal for a recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This will be based to a large extent on the report adopted in March by ITRE, the Parliamentary Committee reviewing the recast, which included specific amendments to the November 2008 Commission proposal.

With only weeks to go before Parliamentary elections, focus is obviously changing towards constituencies.  But, there is also a need for finishing business and this recast proposal is definitely important. The Commission’s proposal has an estimated impact of 60-80 Mtoe in 2020, meaning that total EU energy consumption can be reduced by 5-6 %. If the proposed amendments of the European Parliament are adopted in plenary and agreed by the Council of ministers, the impact will be even greater And the overall impact also includes greater energy security, new employment possibilities, development and deployment of new technologies, as well as health and comfort benefits.

The Council of Ministers will soon begin deliberating on its own views of the recast proposal as reflected by member state positions. The Council and Parliament will then have to reach agreement under the requirement for a co-decision, where it is hoped a Political Agreement integrating the European Parliament’s first reading amendments can be reached during the Swedish Presidency at the 7 December Energy Council.

However, no vote by the plenary before the elections, or a negative vote, will lead to serious delays and will take the approval process well into late 2010.

2009 is a very special year. In December in Copenhagen, global leaders will be meeting to achieve a new climate change agreement. Europe must provide leadership now. And this recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is an important element of that leadership.

eceee hopes that the European Parliament will take that next step and keep the momentum going by adopting an ambitious first reading report and resolution, with amendments that truly reflect the importance of this piece of Community legislation.

Rod Janssen
Member of the Board of eceee

The views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of eceee or any of its members.

Other columns by Rod Janssen

Oct 2016

Apr 2016

Nov 2011