The European Commission has published an updated version of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The new EPBD 2010 repeals and replaces the EPBD 2002 from 1 February 2012 and must be implemented into national legislation by 2013.
The key provisions of the recast EPBD 2010 include:
1. Member states must set minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and existing buildings that are undergoing major renovation (provided that doing so is technically, functionally and economically feasible);
2. The feasibility of using high energy efficient systems (such as renewable energy, cogeneration, and district heating) must be taken into account before the construction of a new building begins;
3. New buildings owned or occupied by the public sector need to be “nearly zero-energy” by 31 December 2018. This will be extended to the private sector by 31 December 2020;
4. Member states must draw up their own plans to increase the number of “nearly zero-energy” buildings, including policies for retrofitting existing buildings;
5. Member states must submit to the European Commission a list of financial incentives to support the implementation of the EPBD 2010; and
6. Energy performance certificates must be displayed in buildings over 500m2 (instead of 1000m2 under the EPBD 2002) that are occupied by public authorities and frequently visited by the public. This threshold will decrease to 250m2 on 9 July 2015. Energy performance certificates must also be displayed in private buildings over 500m2 that are frequently visited by the public.
Whilst the new EPBD 2010 is less onerous than the European Commission’s original proposals, it does significantly tighten energy efficiency requirements and considerably extends its scope by reducing the 1000m2 threshold to 500m2. It will also be interesting to see how the new term “nearly zero-energy” buildings is interpreted and used by the Government.