‘Inaccurate’ EU energy labels for buildings up for review

(EurActiv, 4 Nov 2021) Energy performance certificates (EPCs) for buildings are sometimes so inaccurate that they can even become a hindrance to the EU’s climate goals, industry says. The upcoming revision of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive could offer a way out.

EPCs are an important source of information for consumers planning to purchase or rent a property: they label buildings on a scale from A to G and provide recommendations for cost-effective improvements.

The EU energy performance label must be included in all advertisements in commercial media when a building is put up for sale or rent. It must also be shown to prospective tenants or buyers when a building is constructed, sold or rented, writes the European Commission.

The trouble is, they are not very reliable and not much trusted by consumers as a result, as confirmed by various studies – for instance in Ireland and Germany .

A UK EPC study found that “multiple assessors evaluating the same property can produce quite markedly different results.”

Results can also differ across regions in the same country. “A house in Brussels graded G on the energy efficiency scale could receive an F, E or even D in Flanders,” says Andreas Graf, project manager for EU energy policy at think-tank Agora Energiewende.

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EurActiv, 4 Nov 2021: ‘Inaccurate’ EU energy labels for buildings up for review