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Mastering the transition towards energy efficiency in the buildings sector: The European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Case Summary: 

The
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is the European Union's (EU) main
legislative instrument promoting the improvement of the energy performance of
buildings among the Member States of the EU.

The EPBD sets a framework for energy-efficient
building systems, which are adaptable to the national building codes of the
Member States. The objective of the Directive is to promote energy savings in
buildings by taking into account local climatic conditions in different parts
of the EU as well as conditions such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity
within buildings. Member States are granted flexibility in the implementation
of building standards, taking into account their unique circumstances.
In
the residential sector, the progressive implementation of the building codes has
facilitated an 11% reduction in final energy consumption in buildings between
2005 and 2015.


The EPBD sets a framework for energy-efficient
building systems, which are adaptable to the national building codes of the
Member States. The objective of the Directive is to promote energy savings in
buildings by taking into account local climatic conditions in different parts
of the EU as well as conditions such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity
within buildings. Member States are granted flexibility in the implementation
of building standards, taking into account their unique circumstances.
In
the residential sector, the progressive implementation of the building codes has
facilitated an 11% reduction in final energy consumption in buildings between
2005 and 2015.

The EPBD further assists in providing transparent
information to building occupants. It has introduced Energy Performance
Certificates (EPCs) schemes which inform building tenants and owners about the
energy ratings of buildings and
cost-effective ways to
improve energy performance.
The Directive also provides regulatory mechanisms for the energy
performance of buildings. Inter alia, all Member States shall ensure that new public
buildings
are Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) –
i.e. highly energy-performant buildings – by the end of 2018, while all new
constructions shall be NZEBs by the end of 2020
. It has also put in place a comprehensive renovation strategy,
requiring
Member States to prepare a roadmap to
transform their current building stock to a highly efficient stock by 2050.
Lastly, the EPBD has included several provisions for the use of smart
technology for even more cost-effective energy use in buildings.

The comprehensive stakeholder engagement in the
legislative process for the update of the EPBD, which was conducted in an
utmost transparent manner, as well as the science-based nature of the process,
makes the EU's approach a good practice in how countries may go about in
tackling emissions from the building sector.

Region 
Europe and Central Asia
Action Area 
Mitigation
Sectors and Themes 
Energy Efficiency
Language 
English