The European Council formally adopted the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This legislation sets the framework for Member States to reduce emissions and energy use in buildings across the EU, from homes and workplaces to schools, hospitals and other public buildings. The revised Directive will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force in the coming weeks. For their part, Member States will have two years to transpose the provisions of the Directive into national law, while the European Commission will review the Directive by 2028 in the light of experience gained and progress made during its implementation.

The revised Directive sets ambitious targets for reducing the overall energy consumption of buildings across the EU, taking into account national specificities. It leaves it up to Member States which buildings to target and which measures to take. It will also boost demand for clean technologies in Europe and create jobs, investment and growth.

Each Member State will adopt its own national trajectory to reduce the average primary energy consumption of residential buildings by 16% by 2030 and 20-22% by 2035.

Rehabilitation of non-residential buildings

For non-residential buildings, 16% of the least efficient buildings will have to be retrofitted by 2030 and 26% of the least efficient buildings by 2033. Member States will have the possibility to exempt certain categories of residential and non-residential buildings, including historic buildings or holiday homes, from these obligations.

The Directive requires the creation of one-stop shops for advice on building retrofitting, and provisions on public and private financing will make retrofitting more affordable and feasible.

New buildings to be zero-emission from 2030 onwards

Furthermore, the revised Directive requires all new residential and non-residential buildings to have zero on-site emissions from fossil fuels from 1 January 2028 for publicly owned buildings and from 1 January 2030 for all other new buildings, with the possibility of specific exemptions.

The document also contains new provisions to phase out fossil fuels for heating in buildings and to boost the deployment of solar energy installations, taking into account national circumstances. Member States will also have to ensure that new buildings are solar-ready.

Air conditioning, EV charging and energy poverty

Subsidies for the installation of stand-alone fossil fuel boilers will not be allowed from 1 January 2025. The uptake of sustainable mobility will also be boosted through provisions on pre-wiring, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and bicycle parking spaces.

Citizens will be supported in their efforts to improve their homes. The revised Directive also includes financing measures, to incentivise and accompany retrofits, and these should in particular target vulnerable customers and the least efficient buildings, where a higher proportion of households in fuel poverty live.

Source: Casa Domo