The Central and Eastern Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) welcomes the revision of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), entering into force on July 20th 2018. EU countries will have to transpose the new elements into their national legislation within a 20-month period.

“The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive revised on 19th of June, aims to create a clear path towards a low and zero-emission building stock in the European Union by 2050 underpinned by national roadmaps to decarbonise buildings. It also encourages the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and smart technologies to support the introduction of automation and control systems in buildings. It will support the rollout of e-mobility infrastructure in all buildings. A new “smart readiness indicator” will be introduced and measure the buildings’ capacity to interact with power grids ad use new electronic systems to adapt to the needs of the consumers. The revised EPBD also aims to integrate and strengthen long term building renovation strategies and combat energy poverty by renovating older buildings. More importantly financial mechanisms, incentives and the mobilisation of financial institutions for energy efficiency renovations in buildings should have a central role in national long-term renovation strategies and be actively promoted by Member States”– said Csaba Vaszko, Steering Committee Member of  Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN).

Such measures should include encouraging energy efficient mortgages for certified energy efficient building renovations, promoting investments for public authorities in an energy efficient building stock, for example by public-private partnerships or optional energy performance contracts. They should also reduce  the perceived risk of the investments, provide accessible and transparent advisory tools and assistance instruments such as one-stop-shops providing integrated energy renovation services, as well as implement other measures and initiatives such as those referred to in the Commission’s Smart Finance for Smart Buildings Initiative.

“The EU building sector is Europe’s largest final energy consumer (40%), while 75% of the buildings are labelled as energy inefficient. Approximately between 0.4% and 1.2% of the stock is renovated every year depending on the Member State, but we need to renovate 3% annually to achieve the ambitious Paris Agreement and this is unrealistic right now” – said Marek Muiste from Tartu Regional Energy Agency in Estonia, coordinator of  CEESEN.

“Central and Eastern Europe has a strong potential for high-performance refurbishment as the lack of capacity and insufficient regulative framework has been hindering large scale uptake of the renovation initiatives so far. Implementation of the EPBT creates an opportunity for system scale renovations improving the quality of buildings and the living environment, improving the life quality and reducing the acute energy poverty in these communities.
The revised EPBD is a key opportunity to generate different economic, social and environmental benefits and more specifically to help boost the Eastern European economies in the right way” – added Marek Muiste.