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Energy performance of buildings

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Energy performance of buildings

Buildings account for 40 % of the European Union’s (EU) total energy consumption. The sector is expanding and so too are its energy demands. By limiting them, the EU will reduce its energy dependency and greenhouse gas emissions and advance towards its goal of cutting overall energy consumption by 20 % by 2020.

ACT

Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings

SUMMARY

Buildings account for 40 % of the European Union’s (EU) total energy consumption. The sector is expanding and so too are its energy demands. By limiting them, the EU will reduce its energy dependency and greenhouse gas emissions and advance towards its goal of cutting overall energy consumption by 20 % by 2020.

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

The legislation aims to improve the energy performance of buildings in the EU, taking into account various climatic and local conditions. It sets out minimum requirements and a common methodology. It covers energy used for heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation and lighting.

KEY POINTS

National authorities must set cost-effective minimum energy performance requirements. They should be reviewed every 5 years at the latest.

These must cover heating, hot water, air-conditioning and large ventilation systems.

The Commission is responsible for establishing the methodology to calculate the optimal cost levels for the energy performance requirements.

New buildings must meet the minimum standards and contain high-efficiency alternative energy systems. Those owned and occupied by public authorities should achieve nearly zero-energy status* by 31 December 2018 and other new buildings by 2 years later.

Existing buildings, when undergoing major renovation, must upgrade their energy performance to meet the EU requirements.

National authorities operate an energy performance certification system. The certificates provide information for prospective purchasers or tenants of a building’s energy rating and recommendations for cost-effective improvements. They must be included in all commercial media advertisements when the premises are offered for sale or rent.

National authorities must ensure schemes are in place to inspect heating and air-conditioning systems.

The Commission will assess, by 1 January 2017, the progress made on the energy performance objectives and make further proposals if necessary.

WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

From 8 July 2010.

For more information, see buildings on the European Commission’s website.

KEY TERMS

* Nearly zero-energy building: a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

REFERENCE

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2010/31/EU

8.7.2010

9.7.2012

OJ L 153 of 18.6.2010, pp. 13-35

RELATED ACTS

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 244/2012 of 16 January 2012 supplementing Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings by establishing a comparative methodology framework for calculating cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements (OJ L 81 of 21.3.2012, pp. 18-36).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Financial support for energy efficiency in buildings (COM(2013) 225 final of 18.4.2013)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Progress by Member States towards nearly zero-energy buildings (COM(2013) 483 final/2 of 28.6.2013).

last update 06.08.2015

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