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EU adopts new buildings emissions rules

16th April 2024

The European Union has formally adopted the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which enshrines stiff new sustainability targets for the built environment.

Under the new directive, all new buildings will required to have zero on-suite emissions from fossil fuels by 2030, and by 2028 for public sector buildings. The updated rules also requires member states to enforce the phasing out of fossil fuels in heating and cooling of buildings, with their use ended by 2040.

Wopke Hoekstra, commissioner for climate action, said: “In a climate-neutral Europe, we need to be able to heat and cool our homes and buildings with minimum emissions. We have the technologies to do this, but we need to create a stronger business case for renovations. 

“The new EPBD will help mobilise additional finance and boost construction value chains. Together we can help homeowners and businesses renovate to save money and prepare for a net zero future.”

Member states are also required to enact plans to reduce primary energy use in residential buildings by 16% by 2030 and 20-22% by 2035. At least 55% of this decrease must be achieved through the renovation of the worst-performing buildings.

States will also be require to target renovation of the worst-performing 16% of commercial buildings by 2030 and the  worst-performing 26% of buildings by 2033 to meet minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) standards.

To support the EPBD, the EU has made more than €100 billion ($107 billion) of funding for renovations available between 2023 and 2030, accessible via a number of funds. 

The new directive will also require new EPCs which take account of whole lifecycle emissions (ie including embodied carbon) from 2030. The European Commission said: “In addition, Member States will have to adopt national roadmaps and set targets to reduce such lifecycle emissions.”

More information and a download of the EPBD can be found here.

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