Revision of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive passes first hurdle

Brussels – The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee has issued its draft report on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), proposed by the European Commission in last year’s Clean Energy Package.

ITRE’s position includes long-term national renovation strategies and milestones to be reached in order to boost the renovation rate, which currently stands at just 1% per year. Comparatively, the Council of the Ministers had sought to take a more general approach and reduce the ambition of the Commission’s proposal.

The renovation measures supported by the EPBD revision have large potential to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel poverty, as well as improving public health. The Commission also had the intention that the EPBD would support the introduction of electric vehicles, by requiring that all non-residential buildings install a charging point for every tenth parking space provided.

The Committee, however, wanted the EPBD to focus mostly on building renovation and believe that it should not be used to regulate transport policy. Rather, electric transport should be supported in its own legislative actions. The final ITRE position states that non-residential buildings should install pre-tubing for electric charging points, rather than full charging infrastructure.

The ITRE vote on 11 October secured backing from across party groups in the Parliament, with 51 votes in favour, 1 against and 11 abstentions, and will move for discussion and vote in Plenary at the end of October. If approved, the legislation should move to trialogue discussion in early November, and the Estonian presidency hopes to close the file by the end of its mandate on 31 December 2017.

The EPBD revision was proposed alongside a revision to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which ITRE will vote on by the end of November. The EED is proving more contentious than the EPBD, with discussion focusing on whether a binding 40% or 35% efficiency improvement target should be supported. A proposal on transport decarbonisation is expected from the Commission on 8 November.

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