aap Hogeling

Editor-in-Chief

Last year the RJ reported about the negotiations of the European Parliament. This year, January 31st the Permanent Representatives Committee (the EU ambassadors COREPER) confirmed the agreement reached between the Estonian presidency and the European Parliament in December 2017 on the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Temenuzhka Petkova, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Bulgaria stated: "Today we reached a major milestone for improving the energy efficiency of our citizens' homes. The Bulgarian Presidency is pleased to arrive at this result on the directive on the energy performance of buildings, which is one of the priority items on the agenda of the Council. The 'energy efficiency comes first' principle is a key element of the Energy Union. Boosting the energy efficiency of buildings is one of the most effective ways of improving EU citizens’ quality of life, contributing to the achievement of a low-carbon economy, impacting economic growth, job creation and investments."

This is an important step to finalise the revision process of the EPBD. The review of the energy performance of buildings directive amends Directive 2010/31/EU and it complements measures under the energy efficiency directive as well as EU legislation on energy efficiency of products. It is part of the Clean Energy package presented by the Commission on 30 November 2016.

After the endorsement by the European Council, the European Parliament will have to approve the agreement. Currently the vote in plenary is scheduled for the 16 April 2018. After this formal approval of the regulation by the Council and the Parliament, the directive will be published in the Official Journal of the EU, and it will enter into force twenty days later. The transposition period for this legislation is 20 months. To conclude: all EU Member States shall implement all EPBD measures within 2 years’ time by April 2020.

Does this timeframe help us? It is good to know that our national regulators are soon obliged to enforce energy saving measures for existing and new buildings. However, the early adapters in many EU MS’s are already realising successful NZEB projects, but this is still not the mainstream. REHVA’s professional community shouldn’t wait any longer. The required renovation rate of our existing building stock is far too low. In many EU countries the building and HVAC industry is complaining about a lack of well trained workers. REHVA is partner in the PROF-TRAC project (PROFessional multi-disciplinary TRAining and Continuing development in skills for nZEB principles; see www.proftrac.eu )  and will support the REHVA members to bridge the skills gap among NZEB professionals, technical experts, architects and managers involved in nZEB design and construction and are addressing this gap with courses and dissemination of material.

Our professional community shouldn’t wait for the expected regulatory support for energy saving measures to renovate and develop nZEB solutions. Act today, convince your colleagues and contracting parties that this is the only possible future for the build environment and our HVAC industry.

[1] European Multi-level Skills offensive. The key to ensuring public support for the Energy Transition. Organised by Housing Europe as part of the PROF/TRAC project Brussels, 20 February 2018.

EditorialJaap HogelingPage 5

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