Often, the official language by Brussels’ politicians is hard to understand. This article deals with the main regulation of buildings and energy saving, nowadays and in future legislation. As buildings are being responsible for close to 40% of European energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, all EU regulations must address energy efficiency impact on the building sector, which can be either direct or indirect. The source is the REHVA Journal from October 2012.
Important pieces of legislation are enforced to improve the energy efficiency of European buildings on several levels: a building, a product and a renovation level. These legislation are the Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Ecodesign Directive (ED), the Energy Labelling Directive (ELD), and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).
On a building level, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) targets directly the energy efficiency of residential and non-residential buildings, both new and existing, on a national level. This Directive sets the minimum energy performance requirements for technical systems and for building elements. The Directive ensures application of energy performance certificates (EPCs) in public buildings. The EPBD also looks at the nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB) by 2020.
On a product level, the Directives on Ecodesign (ED) and Energy Labelling Directive (ELD) cover the relevant product groups related to the energy performance of buildings, including heating, motors, fans and lighting. In the future, more Ecodesign requirements will be developed for the technical building systems and parts of the building envelope, such as windows.
On a building renovation level, the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requires the Member States by 2014 to establish long-term strategies for mobilizing investments in the renovation of the existing national building stock. This “renovation road-map” will address the requirements for existing residential buildings and hopefully can be applied to all types of buildings in the future.
The analysis of all strategies shows that the EU is not on the track to achieve its 20% energy efficiency objective by 2020. This cannot be done without focusing on existing building stock. All these measures are based on how effectively all Directives will be implemented into national law by the Member States. Joint effort and independent control system on the national level will be necessary to implement.
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