Revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

The European Commission has proposed a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and relevant articles of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). The proposal sets renovation targets, and minimum performance requirements for existing and new buildings. It furthermore adds provisions on energy performance certificates on inspections. A Staff Working Document linked to the proposal shows best practices of improved energy performance in buildings.

New elements of the legislative proposal:

1. Incorporation of the provisions on long-term renovation strategies (Article 4 of the EED) in the EPBD

2. Article 10 is updated to include two new provisions on EPCs to assess savings from renovations financed with public support are to be assessed by comparing EPCs before and after renovation

3. Improved provisions on inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems (Articles 14, 15, 16), reinforcing the use of continuous electronic monitoring and building automation and control (BAC). Inspections of the H/C systems shall assess also the sizing compared to heating and cooling the requirements

4. Annex I is updated to improve transparency and consistency of energy performance definitions at national or regional level and to take into account the importance of the indoor environment

5. Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts on “smartness indicator” (Article 23).

REHVA experts and TRC members have exchanged opinions about the proposed changes and defined key elements which are described in REHVA Opens external link in new windowposition paper.

REHVA position paper 

REHVA supports and appreciates the principles of EPBD aiming both at the improvement of energy performance in new buildings with cost optimal minimum requirements, as well as at the improvement of energy performance in existing buildings with incentives. REHVA welcomes the binding 30% energy efficiency target of the revised EPBD and is confident that the building sector can and should contribute more to achieving it. While staying on track with highly ambitious nZEB targets for new buildings, the EPBD must put more focus on the energy refurbishment of the existing building stock, including the replacement and upgrade of inefficient technical building systems that waste energy and don’t deliver good indoor environment quality. The revised EPBD shall better tackle this challenge and aim at strengthening the implementation and its enforcement.

More specifically, REHVA Opens external link in new windowposition paper highlighted the need of: 

1. Ensuring high indoor environment quality and energy efficiency at the same time.

2. Ensuring quality, proper maintenance, and performance through mandatory inspection of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.

3. Promoting the harmonized and ambitious application of EPB standards in Europe.

What is the smartness indicator?

The EPBD gives the mandate to develop a smartness indicator to assess the technological readiness of the building to adapt in response to the need of the occupants’ demand, to interact with the grid and to facilitate maintenance and efficient operation. DG Energy has launched a service tender for the preparatory work, which is under contracting now. The technical specification of the tender describes the requirements that DG energy has in mind regarding he indicator. Beside the elaboration of a thorough market study and an impact assessment, the aim of the contract is to define and characterise a smartness indicator applicable for all building types and to develop a robust methodology for the calculation of such an indicator. The technical specification specifies to respect the EPBD, the related international and European standards. The impact assessment and the technical analysis should consider the wider benefits, including indoor environment and comfort aspects.

At this stage, it is not clear yet how the characteristics and calculation methodology will consider IEQ requirements. REHVA will closely follow the process and provide inputs to the work of the consortium developing the indicator.

Accelerating clean energy in buildings - construction initiative

The Commission reinforces its action to support the competitiveness of the construction sector and the benefits of the Energy Efficiency legislation by launching a construction initiative to accelerate the modernisation of the construction sector boosting growth and jobs. This initiative entails the speeding of the digitisation of the sector, the further upskilling of workers, a functioning internal market, and the development of the circular economy.

Smart Finance for Smart Buildings Initiative

The initiative includes specific measures to further unlock private financing and enable market actors to realise their projects through attractive and appropriate financing solutions. This initiative can unlock an additional EUR 10 billion of public and private funds until 2020 for energy efficiency and renewables. The 3 pillars of the imitative are:

More effective use of public funding

Aggregation and assistance with project development

De-risking investments.

CEN Standards and EPBD

January 2017 the series of 17 EN-ISO Energy Performance Buildings (EPB) standards and 29 EPB EN-standards have been accepted. These standards passed the Final Vote last week of January 2017 and will soon be published. At ISO global level the 17 ISO standards and seven accompanied Technical Reports. At CEN level in Europe also the additional set of 31 EN standards and 23 CEN Technical Reports.

Through its members, REHVA is constantly monitoring the evolution of EPB standards and publishing related information on its Opens external link in new windowfree bimonthly journal

Next Step

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will discuss and agree on equal terms with the proposal of the European Commission. REHVA developed its Opens external link in new windowposition paper on the EC proposal and will closely follow the Parliament reading communicating its position to the policy makers.

More information

European Commission - Fact Sheet: Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner, 30 November 2016

Commission Staff Working Document: Good practice in energy efficiency, SWD(2016) 404 final, 30 November 2016 ("Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposals)

Commission Staff Working Document: Evaluation of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings, 30 November 2016. 

Concerted Action EPBD

The introduction of national laws meeting EU requirements is challenging. To support EU countries in this task, the Opens external link in new windowConcerted Action (CA) EPBD was launched by the European Commission to promote dialogue and exchange of best practice between them.  National authorities from 29 countries participates this forum, it focuses on finding common approaches to the most effective implementation of this EU legislation.

The CA has published in September 2015 the updated edition of its report on the progress of the implementation of EPBD in Europe. It can be downloaded here


The Opens external link in new windowBUILD UP portal is the environment for building professionals, local authorities and building occupants willing to share their experience on how to cut energy consumption in buildings. BUILD UP has several expert groups where the experts can exchange information. The content is organised also by topic and more than 1200 publications related to the EPBD are available at BUILD UP portal.