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Energy Performance Certificates Across the EU


Energy performance certificates (EPCs) are rated as one of the best tools to achieve an efficient building stock. On 9 October the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) published a new report analysing national approaches to buildings efficiency certification. The report provides a comprehensive overview of EPC schemes and databases for residential and non-residential buildings across Europe and identifies good practices to make EPC data reliable and accessible. The European Commission has estimated that additional ambitious renovation policies can lead up to 46% energy savings between 2021 and 2030.

EPCs were first introduced in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in 2002. The recast EPBD in 2010 added new requirements which included the introduction of an independent EPC control system, assuring the competence of the certifiers in the accreditation process, introduction of penalties, increasing the availability of EPCs in transactions for sale and rent and the visiblity of the energy label in commercial advertisements. All EU Member States have now formally implemented the requirements to have EPCs for buildings sold or rented but they are not yet a widely-used information tool. Also there are differences in approach to the implementation of the requirements which means that the quality, credibility and usefulness of the EPCs vary greatly among the Member States. 

The report makes a number of recommendations concluding that:
• There is a need to consistently improve the enforcement of the EPC schemes in Member States and strengthen the monitoring of their compliance both at Member State and European levels.
• There is a need to strengthen the role of EPCs in the context of national legislation, especially for renovation policies and programmes.
• There is a need to introduce further quality assurance measures, especially during the early stages of the certification process (for example by strengthening the requirements for qualified and/or accredited experts).
• There is a need for guidance in the development of centralised EPC registries.
• There is a need to promote the effective use of the EPC data.
• There is a need for independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the EPC scheme. 

EPCs are a very important issue for all those working in the real estate sector and CEPI welcomes the publication of this timely report. It is available for download from the BPIE at http://bpie.eu/epc_2014.html#.VDZy13lBvoU.