The European Council Agrees On Rules To Create Energy Efficient Buildings

The European Council Agrees On Rules To Create Energy Efficient Buildings

The European Council has agreed on stricter rules to develop energy-efficient buildings, which are important for achieving the EU's climate goals.

The European Council has agreed on a proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The overhaul aims to ensure that by 2030 all new buildings are zero-emission buildings, and by 2050 all buildings that require conversion of existing buildings to zero-emissions buildings are energy efficient.

The agreement will enable the start of negotiations with the European Parliament. Once an agreement is reached between the Council and the Parliament, the final text will be formally adopted by both institutions.

Council's agreements on energy-efficient buildings

Regarding new buildings, the Council agreed that from 2028 new buildings belonging to public institutions will be zero-emission buildings and from 2030 all new buildings will be zero-emission buildings.

There may be some exceptions for some structures such as historical buildings, places of worship, and buildings used for defense purposes.

Member States have agreed to introduce minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings. These correspond to the maximum amount of primary energy that buildings can use per square meter annually. By implementing these standards, the council hopes to initiate renovations to improve the national building stock and phase out the worst-performing buildings.

For existing non-residential buildings, Member States have agreed to set maximum energy performance thresholds based on primary energy use. The first threshold will be cut below the primary energy use of 15% of the worst-performing non-residential buildings in a Member State, and a second threshold will be set below 25%. It was decided to bring non-residential buildings below the 15% threshold by 2030 and below the 25% threshold by 2034.

Thresholds will be decided on 1 January 2020 based on the energy use of the national building stock and may differ between different building categories.

Member States agreed that minimum energy performance standards based on a national trajectory should be set for existing residential buildings. These will be in line with the gradual renewal of building stocks to a zero-emission building stock by 2050, as outlined in national building renovation plans.

Monitoring of energy performance

Between 2025 and 2050, the national trajectory of energy performance standards will correspond to a reduction in average primary energy use across the entire residential building stock. This will ensure that primary energy use of the entire residential building stock is at least equal to energy performance class level D by 2033, and by 2040, a nationally determined value derived from a gradual reduction in average primary energy use from 2033 to 2033. 2050. This would be in line with the conversion of residential building stock to the zero-emission building stock.

Member States have agreed to add a new 'A 0' category to energy performance certificates that will be consistent with zero-emission buildings. Another new category, 'A+', could be added to correspond to zero-emission, energy-efficient buildings that contribute on-site renewable energy to the power grid.

Currently, energy performance certification for buildings set by the directive ranks buildings according to their energy performance on a scale from A (best performing) to G (worst performing).

Optimizing new buildings to meet national energy targets

Requirements are established to ensure that all new buildings are designed to optimize their solar generation potential. The deployment of suitable solar installations has also been agreed upon by Member States.

Sustainable mobility infrastructure should also be made ready. These include charging points inside or next to buildings for electric cars and bicycles, wiring to envision future infrastructure, and parking spaces for bicycles. The agreement also introduced voluntary renewal passports for buildings.

Initial plans should also be prepared for building renovation plans, which will be issued by 30 June 2026. These will include an annual energy replacement rate, national building stock and operational GHG emission reductions with national targets for 2030, 2040, and 2050, and a roadmap of the facility's primary and final energy consumption.

Source: The European Council Agrees On Rules To Create Energy-Efficient Buildings

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