European Parliament votes on Energy Performance of Buildings: exceptions and derogations are welcomed, incentives are needed

On 9 February 2023, the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament adopted its position on the proposed revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) by 49 votes to 18, with 6 abstentions.

HOTREC supports the revision of the Directive as a way for companies to be more energy efficient in the near future. Nevertheless, massive support is needed for the companies to comply with the needed infrastructural changes (e.g. tax relief; guarantee funds; pay-as-you-save financial schemes).

With regard to infrastructures for sustainable mobility (charging stations and bicycle parking spaces), we fully welcome the possibility approved by Parliament, for Member States to adjust the requirements for residential and non-residential buildings if owned or occupied by SMEs. Charging stations evolve rapidly and become obsolete, while the costs are extremely high. Moreover, bicycle parking spaces should adapt to local demographic, geographic and climate conditions.

We consider that Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are essential to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. But we think that their mandatory nature, as established by Parliament, is not flexible and does not take into account technical, functional and economic factors.

With regard to solar energy, existing buildings will need to follow the rules, according to Parliament’s view. We consider that a one-size-fits-all approach is not practical (e.g. some countries do not have much light during winter time). It is, nevertheless, positive that the installation is required if technically, economically and functionally feasible.

The European Parliament voted in plenary on 14 March 2023.

HOTREC is counting both on the European Parliament and on the Council to reach a balanced approach during the trilogue negotiations on the file.

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