Four essential priorities to put Europe back on the energy-efficiency track.
Since its recast in 2010, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) contributed to improving the energy performance of the European building stock. Minimum performance levels for buildings undergoing major renovations and for building components have been set while a vision for the constructions of tomorrow to be Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) by 2020 was given. Thanks to the EPBD, national and local buildings codes spread all over Europe and buildings started to be acknowledged as a strategic sector to deliver EU climate and energy goals. The results have demonstrated that improving the energy efficiency of European buildings is achievable.
In line with the Energy Union strategy and the proposed Energy Efficiency First principle, Glass for Europe considers that the building sector can deliver a lot more energy savings than has been the case in the recent years. In fact, the EU’s objective of a NZEB stock by 2050 is still achievable provided efforts are stepped up. The possible revision of the current EPBD offers precisely that possibility.
A revisited directive must not only confirm the EU’s objective of an NZEB building stock by 2050 but it must also incorporate the new measures and milestones commensurate with this EU ambition. To Glass for Europe, improvements in four complementary areas are essential.
One long-term goal, i.e. an NZEB building stock by 2050, which requires actions in four complementary areas :
- Support to energy efficient renovation of existing buildings requires certainty and stability for investors over the long-term: instruments must be designed to triple current renovation rate
- Need to focus measures on the reduction of final energy demand from buildings to gradually increase minimum performance requirements
- Maximize energy savings from windows and glazed facades thanks to a comprehensive reform of outdated building codes and a dedicated retrofit plan
- Improve interpretative guidance to ensure adequate implementation and enforcement