MEPs Vote for 80% Cut in Buildings’ Energy Waste by 2050

On 14 March the European Parliament voted for an 80% cut in energy used by buildings, which would require a massive increase in renovation targets. The vote was on an own initiative non-binding report on the Commission’s Energy Roadmap by Niki Tzavela MEP (EFD) (EL), but the Parliament is giving a message to the Commission and Member States that measures must be taken.

EU Member States have committed to a voluntary target of reducing the EU’s primary energy use by 20% by 2020. One of the main policy tools to achieve this is the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). This provides a common methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings and requires all new structures in the EU to be nearly zero-energy buildings by 2021. 

The EBPD also requires energy performance certificates to be made available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out. However there are concerns about monitoring and compliance with building codes and standards.

Renovation of the current building stock is also seen as an important provider of new jobs. The parliamentary report calls for the renovation target to apply equally to public and private buildings. 

The target in the Energy Efficiency Directive approved last year applies only to public buildings with an area larger than 500m². However the Energy Efficiency Directive also requires Member States to draw up roadmaps to make their entire buildings sector more efficient by 2050, and much attention will now be paid as to how this is to be done. MEPs call on Member States to adopt ambitious, long-term building renovation strategies. The report also calls for greater attention to be paid to the heat and cooling sectors in the transformation of the energy system.