A piecemeal approach on energy standards for buildings won’t work

(EurActiv, 25 Nov 2021) Decarbonising Europe’s building stock requires robust Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), not a piecemeal approach that fails to regulate buildings that are ripe for renovation projects, writes Adrian Joyce.

Adrian Joyce is director of the Renovate Europe Campaign.

The European Union has an immense superpower that its officials sometimes forget to use: industries, sectors, and stakeholders more often than not respond effectively to the issued regulations, rules, and directives.

Regulation, and the clarity that comes with it, are often craved, especially by stakeholders that appreciate asset value. And building owners rank highly within that category, given that buildings are the world’s most valuable asset class.

Regulation has proven successful in driving significant changes in the buildings sector in the last decades. But there is still plenty of potential yet to tap in Europe’s leaky buildings, and the climate emergency has brought this sharply into focus.

As the EU aims to curb the carbon footprint of the building stock in the EU, which is responsible for nearly 40% of the bloc’s emissions, the sector’s willingness to be regulated cannot be underestimated and should be fully leveraged.

Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) are one of the key instruments that must be deployed if the EU’s ambitious Renovation Wave initiative and overall emission reduction targets are to be met.

MEPS are segment-based rules that set a future to achieve a given performance level and are the most effective means of making measurable progress. They bring market predictability and can help the labour market adapt to demand.

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EurActiv, 25 Nov 2021: A piecemeal approach on energy standards for buildings won’t work