Detailed measures to achieve higher renovation rates are expected to be laid out at national level.
Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), countries are required to draw-up national long-term renovation strategies, to “support the renovation of their national building stock into a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.”
The strategies should set “indicative milestones” for 2030, 2040 and 2050, and define “measurable progress indicators”, such as renovation rates or caps on energy consumption per square floor meter.
And even though measures are left entirely to the discretion of national governments, some were explicitly promoted in the EPBD.
One example are building automation and control systems, which optimise the energy consumption of systems used for heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, hot water and on-site electricity generation.
According to a study by Waide Strategic Efficiency, the deployment of control systems in commercial and residential buildings could save as much as 14% of total primary energy use by 2038.
Under the EPBD, these systems were made obligatory in all non-residential buildings above 290 kW rated output by 2025, “where technically and economically feasible”.
But only a few member states have transposed the measures properly, according to Simone Alessandri of EU.bac, the European Building Automation and Controls Association.
Most EU countries took a “copy-paste approach” to the articles in the directive, Alessandri explained, “without clearly identifying, framing and justifying” the parameters on which technical or economic feasibility should be assessed.
“With no compliance mechanisms, and exceptions that are left to the discretion of the assessor, the impact of these measures is strongly weakened,” Alessandri told EURACTIV.
As member states fall behind on the directive’s implementation deadline, some are calling on the Commission to raise its game.
“To reach the 2030 targets and carbon neutrality by 2050, we know that we need to make our buildings more energy efficient and smarter,” said Lars Tveen, President of Danfoss Heating. “With the revised EPBD we have the directive at hand to act on what is needed,” he said, referring to optimised heating and cooling systems.
“Now, we need a strong national implementation of the EPBD across all member states to ensure broad and fast deployment of available solutions,” he said.