Member states fail to define low-energy buildings
Only half of EU member states have in law defined nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEB) requirements for new buildings, according to a survey by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE). For existing buildings the result is even worse, a definition is only in place in eight of the member states. Only five of the member states have the same definition for old and new buildings.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) says that all new buildings should meet the nZEB requirement by 2020, while for public buildings the deadline is set for 2018. By June 2015, member states are required to set intermediate targets to improve the energy performance of buildings.
The European Commission is then expected to review the national plans defining nZEB requirements by the end of 2015.
The BPIE points out the weakness of a directive that only has a broad definition of nZEB and leaves it up to member states to work out the details, which leaves room for varying performance.
Buildings have a crucial role to play in Europe’s energy transition and the achievement of its 2020 climate and energy targets, as they account for almost half of the EU’s total energy consumption and 36 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions.