Letters

High Minimum Energy Performance Standards for buildings

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Energy efficient building
Photo by “Jw.” on Unsplash.

Leading industry players, NGOs, think tanks and investors are calling on the European Parliament to adopt ambitious Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) in the recast of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. MEPS are the main tool addressing the pressing issues of energy poverty, energy security and decarbonisation in the revised text and are critical for both planning purposes and for execution.

The twin geopolitical and energy crises have thrown into sharp relief the high combined costs of Europe’s energy dependency and poor building energy performance. Buildings account for 40% of our energy consumption, most of which is used to keep us warm and energy renovations are the only solution to durably shelter citizens and businesses from price hikes.

Financial incentives for renovations must be backed by effective regulations. Solely relying on voluntary schemes has not worked so far. In fact, only 1% of EU buildings undergo energy renovations each year. For deep renovations, it’s just 0.2%. This is why the European Parliament must adopt ambitious Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast.

MEPS should bring public and non-residential buildings EPC class F and G to EPC class C by 2030 and residential buildings EPC class F and G to EPC class C by 2033. This level of ambition should be linked to financial and technical support – such as social safeguards for low-income households and guarantees on rent. The joint letter also includes additional guiding principles for ambitious Minimum Energy Performance Standards.

These ambitious Minimum Energy Performance Standards would be:

  1. Good for the people in the context of high energy prices.
  2. Good for achieving energy security in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  3. Good for the construction sector and job creation, encouraging long term investments and innovation.
  4. Good for achieving our climate objectives, which require all buildings in the EU to be fully decarbonised by 2050.

Read all the recommendations here.

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