What you need to know about the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Proposal

17 Jun 22
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive was first devised in 2002, with a number of experts coming together to develop a set of standard methods to define emission reduction targets and determine measurement criteria for a building’s energy performance.

As time has gone on, Energy Performance Building standards have been revised to reflect the urgency of the current climate crisis and growing legislation for energy performance, with the most recent revisions proposed in December 2021.

The EPBD was updated in 2010 and amended in 2018 as part of the Clean Energy Package, focusing on expediting the renovation of existing buildings and modernising the buildings, with additions including:

  1. Smart Technology

  2. Automation Systems

  3. Renewable Integration Storage Solutions

  4. Electromobility Support

The EPBD was developed at the EU level by the European Commission, with the regulation left for EU countries to interpret and implement in their legislation going forward.

The new standards provide more accuracy in the calculation and inspection of the overall energy performance level of a building or building design and is a crucial tool for setting and evaluating both national and international policy targets.

The 2021 EPBD proposal builds on previous iterations of the directive developed because of the significant carbon emissions made by buildings worldwide.

The data shows that buildings make up 40% of energy consumed and 36% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it reports that 75% of EU buildings are not energy efficient and 85-95% of EU buildings are expected to still be standing in 2050.

The directive focuses on tackling the worst-performing buildings with the highest potential and most cost-effective renovations.

The 2021 proposal accelerates existing buildings standards from Nearly Net Zero Energy to completely Zero Emissions Energy certifications. This is in part due to the addition of GHG emission criteria introduced into building performance assessments going forward.

It also puts an increased focus on indoor air and climate quality by defining voluntary indicators to be included in Building Energy Rating (BER) and by extending the scope of inspections to ventilation systems besides heating and air conditioning with the same requirements.

The proposal is re-emphasised by the introduction of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) that require all Building Energy Rating class G buildings to be renovated and upgraded to class F by 2027 and class E by 2030.

The proposed revision for EPBD includes the following requirements for energy performance:
  1. Zero Emissions - As of 2030, all new buildings must be zero-emission; new public buildings must be zero emission by 2027.

  2. BER Labels - The worst-performing 15% of the EU building stock will have to be upgraded from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) label G to at least label F by 2030, public and non-residential buildings leading the way by 2027. Residential buildings should be renovated from G to at least F by 2030 and at least E by 2033.

  3. Renovation - Member States are invited to include renovation considerations in public and private financing rules and establish appropriate instruments, particularly for low-income households.

  4. Climate Plans - National Building Renovation Plans will be fully integrated into National Energy and Climate Plans to ensure comparability and tracking of progress – they will need to include roadmaps for phasing out fossil fuels in heating and cooling by 2040 at the latest.

  5. Fossil Fuels Incentives - A sunset clause is proposed, offering financial incentives to use fossil fuel alternatives in buildings: no financial incentives should be given for the installation of boilers powered by fossil fuels as of 2027 and Member States are given the legal possibility to ban fossil fuel use in buildings.

  6. Electric Charging - Requirement to roll out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in residential and commercial buildings and to promote dedicated parking space for bicycles.

  7. Renovation Passport - A Building ‘Renovation Passport’ will give consumers access to information and lower costs to facilitate their planning and a step-by-step renovation towards zero-emission level.

  8. Energy Performance Certificate - Buildings or building units which are offered for sale or rent must have an energy performance certificate, and the energy performance class and indicator should be stated in all advertisements.

While this proposed directive is not approved in legislation just yet, it is soon to become a reality,” PJ Ryan, Director of Ethos Sustainability said. “The EPBD proposal makes some bold and much-needed steps in relation to building renovation.”

Ethos can help you on your property’s journey to EPBD compliance. The Ethos Sustainability Team can give you the tools and expertise needed to ensure your building does not become a stranded asset, nor provide you with costly and limited renovations. Ethos Sustainability is here to help you navigate this comprehensive proposal and get ahead of EPBD to ensure your building’s performance complies.

To schedule a call, email PJ Ryan or Michael Boyle, Sustainability Directors, at