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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New directive on the energy efficiency of buildings

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We finally have a strong European legal framework that will help reduce emissions and energy consumption in both private and public buildings, said European Commission spokesman Tim McPhie. The European Union has adopted a revised directive on improving the energy performance of buildings. The regulations are intended, among other things, to help Europeans reduce their energy bills.

– After constructive negotiations between the European Parliament and member states, we finally have a strong European legal framework that will help reduce emissions and energy consumption in both private and public buildings – said Tim McPhie, EC spokesman in Brussels, at a meeting with journalists.

He added that new EU regulations will allow Europeans to reduce their energy bills and improve their health and quality of life.

Reduction of average energy consumption in buildings

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In accordance with the provisions of the directive energy consumption in residential buildings should be reduced by 16%. by 2030 and by 20-22 percent until 2035. When it comes to public buildings, such as companies, hospitals, schools and offices, 16% should be renovated by 20230. those in the worst condition, by 2033 – 26 percent Member States will be free to choose ways to “reduce average energy consumption in buildings”, as long as they achieve the goals set out in the regulation.

Countries will also be able to decide which buildings to renovate and whether to exempt certain buildings, such as historic buildings or holiday homes, from the obligation to improve energy efficiency.

EU residents are also to receive help for the renovation of buildings – the regulations provide for the creation of comprehensive renovation advice points and to facilitate obtaining funding for this purpose, which will make renovation more affordable and feasible. As the EC spokesman added, the directive, which is part of the EU's Green Deal strategy, “will increase Europe's energy independence (…) by limiting our use of imported fossil fuels.”

Fully emission-free new buildings from 2030.

The new regulations assume that new buildings will be completely emission-free. From January 2028, all new public buildings will have to be fully independent of fossil fuels. Two years later, this rule will also apply to all other new buildings. Also, traditional heating methods previously used in buildings, such as fuel stoves, will have to be gradually phased out in favor of installations using green energy, including solar energy. Of course – as EU officials emphasize – taking into account the conditions of individual countries. From January 2025, national subsidies for the installation of boilers powered by fossil fuels will also be suspended.

Combating energy poverty

EU officials predict that the new rules will trigger a wave of renovations in the EU and help fight energy poverty. It is estimated that buildings are responsible for approximately 40 percent. energy consumption in the EU, including more than half of EU gas consumption (mainly through heating, cooling and hot water consumption) and 35% greenhouse gas emissions. Today, every third building in the EU is over 50 years old, and almost 75 percent is energy inefficient. Meanwhile, only 1% is renovated every year. of them. The directive will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and will enter into force in the coming weeks. Member States will then have to transpose it into national law.

Read also: “Sinking the market” and a revolution in electricity bills

Main photo source: tomo81/AdobeStock

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