Deadlines ‘needed’ for energy efficient building

EU member states have been "disappointingly slow" to implement legislation on energy efficient building and should be set deadlines to meet zero-energy and low emissions requirements.

That is one of the recommendations of a report from the European Energy Network (ENR) after it carried out a survey of compliance with the EU’s Energy Performance in Buildings Directive.

Focusing on new build and existing buildings in residential, public and commercial sectors, the survey found that European governments have a lot to do if they are to boost energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.

The ENR discovered that Energy Performance Certificates required under the Directive are only fully operational in about 20% of member states and solely in residential new build.

However, two thirds of countries were complying with a requirement to adopt a methodology for calculating the integrated energy performance of buildings.

The ENR report called for EU chiefs to set out a timeframe for new buildings to have zero net energy requirements or carbon emissions, and to reduce energy requirements or carbon emissions from existing buildings.

The EU should also lower the size threshold for buildings undergoing major renovations that must meet minimum performance requirements, the ENR concluded.

Member states should set minimum performance requirements for building components, the report said, and ensure the takeoff of energy performance certificates through information and awareness campaigns.

The ENR also recommended that governments establish effective enforcement systems to ensure that the regulations are met, and use incentives for residents and owners to improve their energy performance.

Simon Green, president of the ENR, said: “We hope that the findings of this report will act as a catalyst for further constructive debate given the importance of successful implementation of this Directive by all Member States.”

The report was released during the EU’s Sustainable Energy Week.

Kate Martin

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