15 per cent of the worst performing building stock in each EU state will have to be modernized from energy classification G to class F by 2027 for non-residential buildings and by 2030 for residential buildings. This is what the proposed EU directive on energy efficiency of buildings provides.
The Commission proposes that from 2030 all new buildings must be carbon neutral. To exploit the potential for faster action in the public sector, all new public buildings must be carbon-neutral as early as 2027. This means that buildings must consume little energy, be powered as much as possible by renewable sources, not directly emit carbon emissions from fossil fuels and must indicate their full life cycle emissions on their energy performance certificate.
For this reason, the EU document states “by 2025, all certificates must be based on a harmonized scale from A to G” and “the national building renovation plans will be fully integrated into the national plans for energy and climate”.
The first targets set by the Commission to achieve a 55% cut in total EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels also concern buildings today. Brussels has in fact proposed new minimum standards on energy performance at EU level: each member state is asked to identify the 15 per cent of its building stock with the worst energy performance to bring it from class G to F by 2027 for non-residential buildings and by 2030 for residential buildings.
“A house in energy class G – the Berlaymont building specified – consumes on average about 10 times more energy than a zero-emission building”. Under the proposal presented, the obligation to certify the energy certification will be extended to buildings subject to major renovations, renewal of the lease and to all public buildings.
“Even the buildings or real estate units that are offered for sale or rent must have a certificate and the energy performance class must be indicated in all the advertisements”, reads the EU document. The common certificate rules, to be applied by 2025, will serve to monitor member countries’ progress in national energy and climate plans.
“These plans will have to include roadmaps for phasing out fossil fuels for heating and cooling by 2040 at the latest,” to achieve zero emissions by mid-century. The proposal also introduces a “renovation passport” of the building which provides owners with a tool to facilitate their planning and a gradual restructuring towards zero emissions.