BPIE briefing: Crunch time for EBPD, Parliament holds stronger vision

(eceee news, 2 Jun 2023) The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is entering the last phase of the legislative process with the start of trialogue negotiations. A new briefing from BPIE –Buildings Performance Institute Europe – provides an overview of where institutions stand at the start of the process and highlights where there is still room for improvement.

Adopting a clear, strong and future-proof EPBD is essential for the EU and Member States to close the gap in building decarbonisation and achieve the 2030 climate targets, BPIE writes. Moreover, it will deliver energy and greenhouse gas savings, protecting Europe against future energy crises and providing citizens with comfortable and clean homes.

The briefing from BPIE provides an overview of where institutions stand at the start of the negotiations on expected impacts of key selected provisions; standards for new buildings, minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings, and the information and enabling framework.

Assessing of the two co-legislators’ positions, BPIE assesses that on many items the Parliament’s approach is closer to delivering a strong vision and framework for the buildings sector. It should therefore be seen as the starting point for the negotiations.

Some examples of the standpoints follow below.

As for Zero Emission Building (ZEB) standard for new buildings, the Parliament’sposition leaves potential to strengthen energy performance thresholds, whereas Council allows too much flexibility to Member States, according to the BPIE. The Parliament also states that a ZEB should in principle be fully supplied by renewables.

The Parliament’s scheme for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) gives a stronger boost to renovation and should be a basis to move negotiations forward, writes the BPIE. However, there are still weak points. Both the Parliament and Council are missing a clear long-term vision, both leave it to member states to establish 2040 MEPS milestones. None of the institutions incentivises renovation beyond the minimum threshold.

Referring to the discussions of Energy Performance Certificates, the Parliament position is most comprehensive and forward-looking and should set the tone in negotiations. As for financial support for deep renovation, the Parliament has a clearer and more forward-looking position than the Council, regarding both the framing of the use of financial support for building renovation and decarbonisation.

Download the briefing here