During the summer, the European Commission's DG Energy launched a public consultation on the review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which is expected by the end of 2016.The EPBD is probably the most important piece of EU legislation affecting the building sector. It requires Member States to set, in a cost optimal way, national minimum energy performance requirements for both new buildings and major renovations, but also for building components with a significant impact on the energy performance of the building (e.g. windows). It also includes the obligation to introduce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and require Member States to ensure that all new buildings are nearly zero-energy by December 2020.
With this consultation, the Commission wants to evaluate whether the Directive is on track to meet its targets but also look at the links of the directive with other energy policy areas. Glass for Europe responded to the consultation underlining that achieving highly performing building envelopes must remain the central objective of the EPBD. The flat glass industry is of the opinion that the 'trias energetica' concept has to be at the core of the legislation. The reduction of energy needs must be the first objective of each intervention aiming at improving the energy performance of a building. Alternative (e.g. renewable) supplies of energy can be taken into account at a later stage in order to achieve a more ambitious target: an energy positive EU building stock by 2050.