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MEPs back law for more energy-efficient buildings

11 October 2017, 15:45 CET
MEPs back law for more energy-efficient buildings

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(BRUSSELS) - MEPs in committee gave their backing Wednesday to a revision of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive aiming to ensure that all new buildings in the EU are as energy-efficient as possible by 2050.

In the vote, the European Parliament's Energy Committee came out in favour of tighter rules on national plans for decarbonisation of buildings by 2050. It also supported using 'trigger points' in the life of a building to speed up renovations.

Buildings consume most energy in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy. About 75% of buildings are energy-inefficient and, depending on the Member State, only 0.4-1.2% of them are renovated each year.

The MEPs say they want a clear strategy that would make both public and private buildings highly energy-efficient by 2050. They propose introducing energy reduction benchmarks for 2030 and 2040, as well as measurable progress indicators, to evaluate how new buildings contribute to the EU's overall energy-efficiency goals.

Rapporteur for the legislation Bendt Bendtsen MEP said that it was now vital that Member States "show a clear commitment and take concrete actions in their long-term planning. This includes facilitating access to financial tools, showing investors that energy efficiency renovations are prioritised, and enabling public authorities to invest in well-performing buildings."

Under the draft law, infrastructure for electric vehicles will have to be added to all new buildings and to those undertaking major renovation, such as electrical recharging and parking infrastructure in buildings with more than 10 parking spaces.

MEPs also approved the use of a "smartness indicator" measuring tool to help reduce energy consumption by adapting the building to the needs of the occupant. High standards of indoor health and air quality conditions would also be prioritised.

The construction industry generates about 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million jobs.

Further information, European Parliament

National data on energy-efficiency of buildings in the EU 2000-2015

Improving energy performance of buildings [EU Legislation in Progress] March 2017

Energy performance of buildings (Briefing, Initial Appraisal, 28-02-2017)

Energy efficiency in buildings (blogpost, July 2016)

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