Legislative framework

As a component of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission approved a legislative proposition to amend the EPBD on December 15, 2021 (COM/2021/802 ). This proposal established the vision and delineated the strategies for attaining a building stock with zero emissions by 2050. It introduced a novel definition for zero-emission buildings and fine-tunes existing definitions like 'nearly-zero energy building' (nZEB) and 'deep renovation. On the 7th of December 2023, the Council and the Parliament reached a provisional political agreement for the revision of the EPBD.  On January 2023, the ITRE committee endorsed the agreement, approving the text. 

The agreement states that all new buildings should be zero-emission as of 2030; new buildings occupied or owned by public sector should be zero-emission as of 2028. Member states will have to ensure a reduction in the average primary energy used in residential buildings of at least 16% by 2030 and at least 20 to 22% by 2035. Member states will be required to renovate the 16% worst-performing non-residential buildings by 2030 and the worst-performing 26% by 2033 through minimum energy performance requirements.

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Find more information on REHVA advocacy inputs about the EPBD revision

Key new elements of the revised EPBD (2023) relating to HVAC sector

  • Zero Emission Buildings:

Introduces a new definition of 'zero emissions building' with very high energy performance.

Replaces 'nearly Zero Energy Buildings' (nZEB) as the standard for new buildings from 2027 and renovated buildings from 2030.

Technical requirements for zero emissions buildings outlined in Annex III.

  • Building Renovation Plans:

Replaces long-term building renovation strategies with national building renovation plans.

Includes concrete renovation targets for 2030, 2040, and 2050.

Plans submitted every 5 years, integrated into national energy and climate plans.

  • Protected Buildings:

Allows improvement in energy performance of protected buildings without altering technical character and appearance.

  • Global Warming Potential (GWP) Calculation:

Requires GWP calculation for all new buildings from 2030, with a formula in Annex III.

Applies to large new buildings (>2000 square meters) from 2027.

Considers energy performance, indoor climate, climate adaptability, fire safety, seismic risks, carbon removals, and accessibility.

  • Major Renovations:

Sets ambitious targets for major renovations of public and non-residential buildings.

Requires Class G buildings to reach at least Class F by 2027 (public and non-residential) and Class E by 2033 (non-public residential).

  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs):

Implements a harmonized scale of energy performance classes by 2025.

Reduces the validity of EPCs in classes D-G to 5 years, while classes A-C remain valid for up to 10 years.

Mandates EPCs for all public buildings and includes EPCs in renewing existing rental contracts.




  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS):

Introduces EU-wide minimum energy performance standards for future buildings.

Member States can set more ambitious standards.

Framework for MEPS to be set by the Commission by June 2026.

  • Renovation Passports:

Commission to develop an EU framework for renovation passports by the end of 2023.

Member States to adapt the framework by the end of 2024, aiding owners in planned renovations.

  • Smart Readiness of Buildings:

Commission to develop an EU-wide Smart Readiness of Buildings indicator by the end of 2025.

Applies to large non-residential buildings with an effective rated output >290 kW.

  • Building Automation and Control Systems:

Lowers the threshold for mandatory installation of building automation and control systems for non-residential buildings from >290 kW to >70 kW from 2030.

  • Residential Buildings Monitoring:

Requires new residential buildings and those undergoing major renovations to be equipped with monitoring and control functionalities.

  • Fossil Fuel Boiler Subsidies:

Prohibits Member States from subsidizing fossil fuel boilers from 2027 onward to promote renewable heating systems with zero direct GHG emissions.

Smart Readiness Indicator

Smart Readiness Indicator

In the context of the Trialogue meetings on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) during Summer – Autumn 2023, notable differences in stances emerged among the European Commission, European Parliament, and the Council of the EU regarding the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI). Agreement among the three EU institutions is anticipated by the end of 2023, with adoption expected in early 2024. However, divergences exist in terms of timelines, scope, and subsequent actions.

  • Timelines:

    • The European Commission suggests adopting a delegated act for the SRI by December 31, 2025.
    • The European Parliament urges for adoption by December 31, 2024, a year earlier than the Commission's proposal.
    • The Council of the EU proposes waiting until the completion of the SRI test phase, with a report by January 1, 2026, and a subsequent delegated act by the end of 2026.
  • Common Emphasis:

    • All three institutions emphasize integrating the SRI across various articles of the EPBD, ensuring its holistic interaction with broader objectives.
    • The SRI is viewed as a tool interconnected with other policy instruments, such as data exchange practices, digital building logbooks, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), renovation passports, and independent control systems.
    • This integrated approach reflects a commitment to harnessing the SRI's potential for transformative change in improving building performance.

The Commission aims to further advance the development of the Smart Readiness of Buildings Indicator through a delegated act, applicable to all large non-residential buildings (defined as an effective rated output >290 kW) by the end of 2025.

In the promotion and advancement of the SRI, REHVA  plays a pivotal role. Particularly noteworthy is REHVA's engagement in the establishment of the SRI Observatory, a platform dedicated to monitoring and disseminating information on the implementation and impact of the SRI across the European building sector. Furthermore, REHVA actively contributes to the realization of SRI objectives through its involvement in two (SMARTSQUARE & SRI2MARKET out of the four projects financed in the LIFE21-CET-SMARTREADY initiative, spanning from Autumn 2022 to Autumn 2025.

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