Final verdict on the EPBD: co-legislators opt for flexibility
7 December 2023
After nearly two full years of legislative procedure, the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) negotiations reaches an end following the political agreement by co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council, in the evening of 7 December 2023. This is a key milestone for the future of energy performant building stock in Europe.
We welcome the outcome of the negotiations. It introduces ambitious objectives with flexibility to reach them. Mandatory minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) will now be considered as a voluntary tool to reach the ambitions of the Directive in the residential building stock. Ever since the publication of the Commission’s proposal, UIPI has been a strong advocate for allowing flexibility to Members States in targeting average building stock, rather than individual buildings. For the residential sector, Members States will need to ensure that the average primary energy use of the whole residential building stock decreases by 16% by 2030 and by 20-22% by 2035 compared to 2020. Achieving these objectives necessitates that the majority of renovations (55%) be focused on the worst-performing buildings, specifically defined as the 43% lowest-performing buildings in the national stock. For non-residential buildings, the co-legislators agreed that in 2030 all non-residential buildings will be above the 16% worst performing and by 2033 above 26%.
Emmanuelle Causse, Secretary General of the International Union of Property Owners commented:
“With this political agreement we have a workable solution on the table. It doesn’t imply that the ultimate objectives lack ambition. On the contrary, Member States have to adhere to high targets that can translate into obligations for individual buildings. Rather, it signifies a greater degree of flexibility for Member States in determining how to meet these objectives, in particular in the residential sector. In the end, what matters is the goal, not the approach!”
Following this agreement, both co-legislators need to formally adopt the agreement before 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.