EU building law: A step closer as the European Parliament adopts the final agreement

EU building law: A step closer as the European Parliament adopts the final agreement

Today’s approval by the European Parliament moves the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) closer to becoming a reality. It is a significant step for an energy-efficient building stock in Europe.

Brussels, 12 March 2024

We welcome the final outcome and reiterate our support for the adoption of a workable solution. It introduces clear goals as well as sufficient flexibility to reach them. Ever since the Commission’s proposal, UIPI has advocated for targeting average building stock improvements rather than individual buildings, a goal that has been achieved with the setting of minimum energy performance standards as a voluntary tool for residential buildings.

Today’s vote (370 in favour, 199 against and 46 abstentions) reflects substantial support for the text, yet also translates public discussions surrounding this file and the need for a cautious approach. Addressing these concerns will be imperative moving forward.

For the residential sector, Member States are tasked with reducing the average primary energy use of the entire residential building stock by 16% by 2030 and by 20-22% by 2035 compared to 2020. Achieving these objectives requires a focus on renovating the worst-performing buildings, defined as the 43% lowest-performing buildings in each national stock. For non-residential buildings, the agreed-upon target is to renovate 16% of the national worst-performing stock by 2030 and 26% by 2033.

Emmanuelle Causse, Secretary General of the International Union of Property Owners commented:  

With today’s pivotal vote, the European Parliament sets the stage for the EPBD to come into force still within this legislative term. While Member States, especially in the residential sector, have been given flexibility, let’s not mistake it for an easy road ahead! As the Council prepares for its final approval, we emphasise that during the transposition phase, it’s crucial to ensure meticulously crafted requirements aligned with the best tools for success. Transitioning towards energy-efficient building stock demands both technical solutions and robust financial backing, while also taking into account national, local, and sectoral realities. There’s no alternative path forward.”

Following the vote by the European Parliament, the Council is expected to approve the agreement in April, after which the new Directive can be published in the Official Journal of the EU and consequently enter into force. It will then be up to Member States to transpose it and implement its requirements to reach the set objectives.

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Note to editors:
The International Union of Property Owners (UIPI), the largest pan-European non-profit association of both homeowners and private landlords. UIPI comprises 31 organisations from 28 countries which, jointly, represent more than 5 million private property owners and around 25 million dwellings all over Europe. Our members are both in the residential and non-residential sector.

The interests of the sector we represent correspond to the concerns and needs of a substantial part of the European population. Almost the 70% of EU citizens are owner-occupiers, whereas almost another 20% of the population is housed in the private rented sector.

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