In October 2020, The European Commission published a far-reaching strategy known as the Renovation Wave. In working to achieve this objective the EU expects to address many serious societal questions, including how to address the negative impacts of climate change, how to reach the long-term goals of creating a climate-neutral economy, and how to alleviate energy poverty in the process. In the business sector that I represent we welcome this strategy as a step change in the way that the European Union regulates our sector. However, it is only the end of the beginning! … writes Adrian Joyce, Secretary General, EuroACE and Campaign Director, Renovate Europe.
Let me explain. Of high interest within the strategy is the proposal to review the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) during 2021. This, on its own, is a courageous proposal as the last revision of the EPBD was completed just two years ago. Several member states are not yet in full conformity with the revised requirements of the EPBD, so re-opening it now is a brave move.
Among the elements that the Commission intends to propose as changes to the EPBD, we find the following key topics:
• An examination of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) as a potentially powerful tool to stimulate energy renovation within the EU;
• A review of the methodology for the preparation of energy performance certificates as valuable information tools that can motivate building owners to undertake renovations;
• A stronger financing and funding requirement that will be more strongly tied to achieving measurable results.
All of these measures will have to be carefully designed to ensure that they assist member states in rapidly achieving an increased rate and depth of energy renovation of their building stock. This will inevitably require policy innovations in most member states, especially in relation to the design and phased introduction of MEPS.