Entering the final phase of negotiations on the main EU buildings' legislation

By: Christophe Arnaud, Policy Advisor 

On Wednesday 27 October, the European Parliament's Committee in charge of energy, research and industry (ITRE Committee) adopted its position on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

The Parliament has strengthened the Commission's proposal in setting a more ambitious and concrete long-term strategy for the decarbonization of the building stock, where solar will have an increasing role to play. The enforcement dimension of the strategy is facilitated by additional measures such as milestones and monitoring, as well as reporting obligations for governments.

The Parliament's position also gives more substance to the smart buildings vision introduced by the Commission, where flexibility, automation and control systems will play a big part, but also the RES electricity generated on-site.

The decarbonisation of the building stock is a set objective - and it is about to become more and more concrete with the obligation of having Near-Zero Energy Buildings from next year on. On-site generation and building-integrated Photovoltaics will play a key role. The Parliament has followed the consideration of the Commission, maintaining the obligation to take into account the positive influence of active solar systems in the calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It also provides that the RES electricity generated and used on-site should be considered in the primary energy accountable for the performance of the building.

The Council has already adopted its position at Council meeting of 26 June 2017. This means that the ITRE vote is the green light for the rapporteur Mr. Bendtsen to start the interinstitutional negotiations with the Council and the European Commission.

This new phase, also known as trialogues, is the final step before final adoption of this piece of legislation that will have a very important impact on the way the building stock will be decarbonised. The discussions may go fast, and we may see a final outcome already by the end of the year.