Open Letter: Bringing sustainability & smartness into European Buildings: Let’s not miss the chance brought by the EPBD Revision

To: Members of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee & of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee of the European Parliament EU Ministers of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council

Our associations represent millions of jobs in Europe and a wide range of business players which provide, implement and/or use energy technologies and services in buildings. We support the recently proposed recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) by the European Commission.

We are, however, convinced that its impact can be improved, creating a win-win situation for Europe’s society, from consumers to market actors and governments. A more ambitious revision of the EPBD will not only reduce building’s energy consumption (currently responsible for 40% of final energy demand), but will also enable a more end-user focused, more decarbonized and more digital energy system.

We therefore urge EU Members States and the European Parliament to support an ambitious revision of the EPBD and to strengthen key elements of the Commission’s proposal. We call the EU institutions to address the following points:

1) Accelerate the energy renovation of the existing building stock, considering the different building types (residential, non-residential and public buildings) by promoting tailor-made and technology-neutral incentive schemes (e.g. financing, deployment of smart technologies, national milestones for renovation strategies).

2) Foster the deployment of Building Automation and Control (BAC) systems, in non-residential and larger residential buildings, in order to ensure proper maintenance and improve efficiency.

3) Promote the new smartness indicator of buildings to support consumer empowerment and the development of buildings as part of the energy system.

4) Go beyond energy savings provisions and adopt a holistic view, by enabling a proper framework for the deployment of infrastructures (i.e. on-site renewable generation, smart metering, demand-side flexibility and electro-mobility) that will facilitate the buildings’ integration into a wider energy ‘eco-system’ (e.g. smart grid & micro-grid, sector connection between electricity and thermal energy).

These four fundamental issues must be addressed, if we want to make the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive both an energy savings tool and a growth and jobs opportunity. We strongly believe a common and ambitious EU Energy policy will be beneficial to EU Member States and should thus be supported, while taking in parallel at national level, the necessary steps to implement and achieve the targets set. The resulting business potential for European companies, both small and large, will benefit European citizens and society.

Let’s not waste our energy on low ambition but use it wisely to unleash the full potential of a strong EPBD; let’s not waste the chance that the EPBD is giving us. Brussels, 6 June 2017

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