Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

The Energy Performance of Buildings: Promises Still Unfulfilled. Egmont Paper No. 78, May 2015

Zgajewski, Tania (2015) The Energy Performance of Buildings: Promises Still Unfulfilled. Egmont Paper No. 78, May 2015. [Policy Paper]

[img] PDF - Published Version
Download (889Kb)


    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY All observers agree that energy efficiency must be the cornerstone of any serious EU energy strategy. In this general context, the EU building sector is critical. It represents about 40% of EU final energy consumption (residential houses, public/private offices, commercial buildings, etc.) and approximately 36% of EU CO2 emissions. This is massive. The EU has certainly not been inactive in this field. The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive 2002/91/EC (EPBD) was the first and the main instrument to address the problem of the energy performance of buildings. It has established numerous principles: a reliable methodology which enables the calculation and rating of the energy performance of buildings; minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and existing buildings under major renovation; energy performance certificates; regular inspection of heating and air-conditioning systems; and, finally, quality standards for inspections and energy performance certificates. They were strengthened in 2010 by the recast Directive 2010/31/EU. This directive also introduces a decisive concept for the development of the building sector: ‘nearly zeroenergy buildings’. In 2012, the new Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU dealt with other aspects. In the building sector, three of them are particularly important. They concern: (1) the establishment of long-term strategies for mobilizing investment in the renovation of the national building stocks; (2) the introduction of energy saving schemes for ‘designated’ energy companies with a view to reducing consumption among ‘final consumers’ by 1.5% annually; and (3), as an option, the setting up of an Energy Efficiency National Fund to support energy efficiency initiatives. This paper also briefly examines the different instruments put in place to disseminate information and consultation, and the EU funding for energy efficiency in buildings. Results, however, have remained limited until now. The improvement of the energy performance of buildings and the rhythm of renovation remain extremely weak. Member States’ unwillingness to timely and properly transpose and implement the Directives continues despite the high degree of flexibility permitted. The decentralized approach chosen for some specific aspects and the differentiation in the application of EPBD standards between Member States do not appear optimal either. Adequate financial schemes remain rare. The permanent deficit of qualified and trained personnel and the inertia of public authorities to make the public understand the stakes in this domain remain problematic. Hence the need to take new initiatives to reap the benefits that the building sector is meant to bring.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Additional Information: D/2015/4804/###
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > energy policy (Including international arena)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Egmont : Royal Institute for International Affairs > Egmont Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 09:15
    Number of Pages: 33
    Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015 18:01

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads