EU Reaches New Draft Energy Agreement

The EU has reached an agreement on a draft law that will renovate some of Europe’s existing buildings, with the hope of reaching zero energy buildings by 2050. The deal was reached during negotiations for the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which is part of key legislation on clean energy.

The proposed deal includes long term renovation strategies, which is an issue that has previously been blocked in talks between the EU Council and the European Parliament. A statement from Parliament officials said “This means that efforts on existing buildings currently responsible for 40% of energy consumption have to be drastically stepped up so that buildings become more efficient and the sector is decarbonised.”

The official targets have yet to be agreed by all member states, but there are hopes that an efficient building stock could be reached by 2050. Some EU countries have set milestones of 2030 or 2040 as a target to make progress on issues like energy consumption. However this is “entirely up to member states.” A source from the European Parliament also said that“It’s not an obligation to have renovation rates as such but an obligation on member states to set some indicators to measure progress and set milestones”

The draft agreement also focuses on more charging points to accommodate for electric vehicles. Part of the deal is that new buildings with parking for ten cars or more would be required to provide at least one charging station. This would apply to all new non residential buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation.

Some of the details of the deal are yet to be agreed, including details on building inspections, energy performance and building inspections; however officials claim they are optimistic. Annikky Lamp, a spokesperson for the Estonian presidency said “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed; we have some tough topics still to come.”

There have been some doubts about the deal from some EU officials, one being Green MEP Florent Marcellesi who has warned that no agreement would be better than a bad deal. The compromises also include “a discount rate” for energy from renewable sources, which has been criticised by energy campaign groups who claim it could allow poorly insulated buildings to be classed as more energy efficient than they actually are. The WWF claims that “This would be totally misleading, encouraging consumers to rent wasteful buildings under the illusion that they are energy efficient.” 

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