Recasting of Energy Performance of Buildings directive closes loopholes and tightens net

The European Commission (EC) has said that all buildings over 50m² that undergo major renovations will be required to meet national minimum energy standard.

At the moment only buildings of more than 1,000m² are included, but the EC has proposed recasting the legislation – the Energy Performance of Buildings directive (EPBD). Europe said this omits 73% of properties as the directive stands.

“Clearly, the best moment for the introduction of energy efficiency measures is when the building undergoes major renovation,” the EC said in the preamble to the recast legislation. "In this way the additional investment needs are not high and due to energy savings they are repaid within the lifetime of the measures.”

The recast EPBD also requires public buildings above 250m² to show display energy certificates (DECs) as opposed to those above 5,000m² currently required by the legislation.

The European Association for the Conservation of Energy (EuroACE) welcomed the proposal, saying that the directive could create 450,000 new jobs related to installing energy saving measures in buildings as well as saving €25bn in wasted power.

“We call upon the Council and the European Parliament to complete their endorsement of this proposal even faster than the 13 months that the original Energy Performance of Buildings directive took from initial proposal to full legal agreement in 2001/2,” said Andrew Warren, senior advisor.

In other new measures, all new or replacement building systems will now be expected to meet minimum energy performance requirements.

The EPBD has been "recast" rather than "amended" for the sake of clarity, the EC said. The revised legislation must be transposed by 31 December 2010 and implemented by January 2012.

A “major renovation” is one that is more than 25% of the building value or 25% of the building envelope, according to the legislation.