Latest updates of the “Clean Energy Package” policies that are influencing the building sector

Authors: Anita Derjanecz, Rebeka Maršnjak 

The “Clean energy package” is bringing an important piece of European energy legislation and shapes European climate and energy legislation beyond 2020. REHVA is closely monitoring the progress of all policies that are relevant for the HVAC and building sector. In this article, you will find a summary of the key policy developments of the past months and some outlook in the upcoming policy developments, pointing out the main issues for HVAC professionals and manufacturers.

REHVA has been actively advocating and extensively reporting about the 2nd recast of the EPBD directive until the revised document was approved by the European Parliament in May 2018. In parallel with the EPBD review however, EU policy makers were working on other important parts of the Clean Energy Package in the past months. 

2nd recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

On the 19th of June 2018, the amending Directive 2018/844 was published, with a transposition deadline in March 2020. One of the main novelties of the new revised directive is focusing on the development of national renovation strategies (article 4 of the Energy Efficiency Directive was moved to the article 2A of the EPBD and being considerably strengthened) to achieve an energy efficient and decarbonised European building stock by 2050. It also addresses healthy indoor climate conditions, fire safety and risks related to intense seismic activity. Member states have now 2 years to develop long-term strategies with a clear vision for 2030, 2040.

Member states shall also encourage that technical buildings systems are replaced or upgraded to high efficiency system as far is technically and economically feasible, which plays an important role in reducing costs and improving the IEQ in our buildings. Regarding the inspections of heating, cooling and ventilation systems (articles 14 and 15 define the change of the threshold for inspection of heating and ventilation system from 20 to 70 kW rated effective output), as well as provisions related to Technical Building Systems such as mandatory individual temperature room control, mandatory installation of Building Automation & Control systems by 2025 in large non-residential buildings.

A further important point of the revised directive is the introduction of the voluntary smart readiness indicator (SRI), promoting digitalisation and smart technologies. The Commission is supposed to adopt a delegated act by 31 December 2018 establishing an optional common European Union scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings covers features such as smart metering, building automation and control systems, self-regulating devices for indoor temperature, built-in home appliances, recharging points for electric vehicles, energy storage, etc.

By 2020 the Commission will conclude a feasibility study on the inspection of stand-alone ventilation systems linked with the optional building renovation passport complementary to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). DG Energy has launched a service tender for the study, REHVA is involved in one of the tendering submitted by BPIE, INIVE and other partners and will closely follow the study preparation.

Energy Efficiency Directive: provisional agreement is waiting for a final approval

To review the EED from a 2030 perspective, the Directive was amended in 2018 (the final text is not yet enforced). The main energy efficiency targets that EED brings is a non-binding 32,5 % EU headline for 2030, with a possible revision of this target in 2023. Article 7 on obligations of the MS to achieve their targets through developing an Energy Efficiency Obligation scheme (EEO) and/or using alternative policy instruments (like energy certificates, minimum energy performance requirements) was strengthened and extended until 2050 with an effective energy savings rate at 0.8 % of the final energy consumption. The EP called for a 35% binging energy efficiency targets, and REHVA - alike several EU level stakeholders - has been advocating for them since the beginning. However, Member States refused accepting a binding target and managed to decrease the target after some difficult negotiation rounds.

Governance of the Energy Union

A major horizontal pillar of the Energy Union related legislation is the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union, which will amend several, governance related articles of 10 different directives and regulation related to energy and climate change. After a joint ENVI - ITRE Committee meeting endorsed the proposal, a provisional agreement was reached with the Council on the common regulation on 28 June 2018. In the following steps the provisional agreement must be voted on the next EP plenary meeting (most probably in October 2018) and in a case of endorsement, it will be approved as final version for enforcement.

Energy labelling: a mandatory product database from 2019 affecting manufacturers and suppliers of HVAC equipment

The technological progress in product energy efficiency over the past years encouraged the definition of a new framework for energy labelling repealing the Directive 2010/30/EU  updating the previous labelling scale. The revised energy labelling framework introduces also a product regulation database to be established by 2019. The database will consist of a compliance part (only accessible to market surveillance authorities and the EC) and a public part. The main aim of this database is to support market surveillance activities of Member States and provide consumers with a tool and overview on the energy efficiency of appliances. After a product will be published, it will display the name/trademark and contact details of the supplier, model identifier, energy label together with energy efficiency class and other parameters (along with parameters of the product information sheet). From 1 January 2019, suppliers must enter in the database all new products before placing them on the market. They are required to provide the model identifier of all equivalent models already placed on the market as well as specific parts of the technical documentation (see Article 12.5), additional parts can be voluntarily uploaded.  Suppliers must enter similar information in the database by 30 June 2019, for all equipment placed on the market between 1 August 2017 and 1 January 2019.

The EC is currently developing the online database. During the stakeholder meeting in spring 2017 the Commission was presenting the practical implementation aspects of this database and how the direct interaction with an existing market surveillance authorities will be provided. In the new portal, all public data will be accessible without registration in a separate system for consumer imported from the password protected non-public database. The aim is to provide a One-Stop-Shop (the portal) containing all information related to a regulated product group, including hyperlinks to Eur-Lex, to standardization databases, etc.

Ecodesign and energy labelling: revised framework and new working plan to further increase the efficiency of energy-related products

Ecodesign and Energy Labelling improve the energy and resource efficiency of products and reduce emissions, waste and energy dependency. It is expected that by 2020, the Ecodesign regulation can deliver approximately €55 billion per year extra revenue for industry, wholesale and retail sectors. This year on 31 of May, the European Parliament had adopted a resolution on the implementation of the Ecodesign directive (2009/125/EC) (2017/2087 (UNI)).

The new Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019 has the potential to deliver further energy savings by 2030 and it contributes to the circular economy by introducing a systematic focus on durability, reparability and recyclability when developing new Ecodesign measures, and by the in-depth assessment of products with the most savings potential. The new ErP includes solar panels and building automation and monitoring systems that are now being assessed under the 2016-2019 working plan. It is important to note that no Ecodesign measure will be proposed for Building Automated Control Systems, if it is considered that the energy saving potential in buildings can be better captured with a new EPBD and EED Directives.

Beside the new Ecodesign Working Plan the Commission has adopted concrete measures, such as guidelines to improve product testing and compliance checking by Member States and new Ecodesign requirements for air heating and cooling products to deliver substantial energy savings.

The Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI): a 2nd study will commence in autumn 2018

The revised EPBD Directive introduced the Smart Readiness Indicator that should rate the smart readiness of buildings, i.e. the capability of buildings to adapt their operation to the needs of the occupant, also optimizing energy efficiency and overall performance, and to adapt their operation in reaction to signals from the grid (energy flexibility). The smart readiness indicator should also raise awareness amongst building owners and occupants of the value behind building automation and electronic monitoring of technical building systems and give confidence to occupants about the actual savings of those new enhanced functionalities.

DG ENER contracted an expert consortium led by VITO to develop the SRI methodology. The final report of the SRI study was published in July 2018  proposing a multi-criteria assessment methodology for the SRI assessment, listing services in 10 domains with different weighting. Annex A consist of a Service Catalogue with an overview of all 52 smart ready services to be inspected. REHVA has been following the development of the study and had a meeting with DG ENER eto present REHVA’s opinion about the methodology.

DG ENER launched a second call for tender for a 2nd study on “Support to the establishment of a common European scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings” to consolidate and revise the outputs of the first study, focus on the implementation of the scheme and develop an impact assessment. The study should lead a critical in-depth review of the developed methodology, including the definition and calculation methodology and give technical recommendations on possible updates on the technical scope of the SRI and on its technical framework, as proposed by the first technical study. The study shall also investigate the applicability of the SRI on a selection of reference buildings representative of the EU building stock. The expert consortium should work extensively with Member States and conduct the study based on their comments regarding the methodology, organisational scheme and implementation. It should also develop an operational and organisational design of the SRI scheme, i.e. how the scheme can be set up, run and monitored, including possible mechanisms for verification, market surveillance and compliance.

The work is supposed to start in October 2018 and will involve Member States in the consultations. The European Commission plans to have a delegated act and an implementing act by end of 2019 / early 2020 based on the 2 completed studies. REHVA closely follows the process and provides inputs to the work of the second study as well. The Policy officers in charge of the SRI studies will be a speaker at the REHVA Brussels Summit Conference on 13 November 2018 allowing the possibility to receive first-hand information about the latest updates and exchange views about the further steps.

REFERENCES:

  1. Ecodesign and Labelling. Available at: https://www.eceee.org/ecodesign/process/
  2. Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/com_2016_773.en_.pdf
  3. Smart Readiness Indicator for Buildings. Available at: https://smartreadinessindicator.eu/milestones-and-documents
  4. Support for setting up a Smart Readiness Indicator for buildings and related impact assessment: Final report. Available at: https://smartreadinessindicator.eu/sites/smartreadinessindicator.eu/files/sri_1st_technical_study_-_final_report.pdf
  5. European Commission: Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-3986_en.htm
  6. Guidelines accompanying Regulation (EU) 2016/2281. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/guidelines_air_heating_products_-_final.pdf
  7. European Commission-air heating and cooling products. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/energy-efficiency/energy-efficient-products/air-heating-and-cooling-products
  8. Buildings in the Clean Energy Package – a BPIE guide. Available at: http://bpie.eu/news/buildings-in-the-clean-energy-package-a-bpie-guide/