EPBD Recast

EPBD Recast - Given the trends in the EU environmental policies, the targets set in the Energy and Climate Change package, the huge energy saving potential in the construction sector and the existing trends in the private sector for developing greener buildings, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive brings major changes that are meant to transform it in a real tool for encouraging and supporting the development of more energy efficient buildings.

Major changes:

Nearly Net zero energy buildings:

All member states shall ensure that all new public buildings are nearly net zero energy buildings by December 31st, 2018 at latest and December 31st, 2020 all new buildings have to be nearly net zero energy buildings
Member states shall set targets for the minimum percentage of buildings, which shall be, by 2018 and 2020 respectively, net zero energy buildings, measured as a percentage of the total number of buildings and as a percentage in relation to the total useful floor area

A definition of what nearly zero energy building means should refer to primary energy consumption expressed in kWh/m2/year, and has to be set by each member state.

Methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings:

At the moment, because of the significant differences existing between the various calculation methodologies in the different member states, the energy certificates issued in some countries (eg: Germany, Austria) are stronger due to the fact that the minimum requirements are higher. Plus, minimum energy performance requirements must be set with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels.

Therefore, there was a need for a common methodology for calculating the optimum cost related to the achievement of the minimum energy performance requirements in all member states. Such a framework has been adopted in 2012, and prescribes calculation of cost-optimal levels for both macroeconomic and financial viewpoints, but leaves it up to each member state to determine which of these calculations is to become the national benchmark against which national minimum energy performance requirements will be assessed.

In order to achieve the set targets, the Member States are supposed to apply the following measures:

Technical measures

Encourage (for new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation) the usage of high efficiency alternative systems in buildings such as decentralized energy supply systems based on the energy produced from renewable sources, cogeneration, district or block heating or cooling, heat pumps, ICT equipment for monitoring and controlling purposes.

Financial measures

Measures meant to reduce existing legal and market barriers and develop existing and new financial and fiscal instruments to increase the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings had to be included in reports that members states have to send to the European Commission by June, 30 2011. Romania partially tackled this issue, being limited to financing measures meant to reduce heating energy consumption of old apartments and individual dwellings according to provisions of the Emergency Government Ordinance No. 18/2009 and the Emergency Government Ordinance No. 69/2010.