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In December 2014, the European Commission received a market study on the voluntary common EU certification scheme for non-residential buildings, in accordance with EPBD Article 11(9). Giving an overview of existing voluntary schemes, this report aims at analysing the demand for a European wide voluntary scheme. It concludes that reliability, cost and international acceptance are key factors for scheme selection. The main added value of this voluntary EU scheme would be to allow a consistent comparison between non-residential buildings across the EU. Besides, it could contribute to raising the ambition for building certification in some Member States. The study also shows that the voluntary EU scheme should build on CEN standards, start with a pilot phase (e.g. with offices and hotels), take a modular approach for energy performance only, and be applied both for public & private buildings, as well as new & existing buildings. Finally, it is recommended that the voluntary EU scheme should use a comparative label design, and that a third party should be responsible for the technical development of it.

In October 2014, the European Commission published a report about the information communicated by Member States on Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs).

The Background Paper summarizes the development of the templates created in 2013 to facilitate the submission of the national plans as well as the collection of consolidated information from Member States, who broadly accepted these new tools. Furthermore, the paper evaluates the quality of the templates and presents some suggestions for improvement.

The working version of the Progress Report gives an overview of the differences in progress between the Member States concerning the implementation of the NZEB requirements (EPBD article 9), showing a clear improvement, both quantitatively and qualitatively, of the information submitted to the European Commission in preparation of the Commission progress report of 28 June 2013.

This report aims to help Cohesion Policy Managing Authorities plan and deploy sustainable energy investments in buildings within Operational Programmes. It provides a list of good practice approaches and case studies, and informs Managing Authorities about the European requirements on buildings and energy efficiency. It also explores the different financing mechanisms that Managing Authorities can use to support sustainable energy projects within an Operational Programme, with the objective of launching large scale investments in the energy renovation of buildings and attracting greater levels of private sector investment.

On 28 June 2013, the Commission published a report on progress by member States towards Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB), which are to become the norm for all new buildings in the EU by the end of 2020, and two years earlier for public buildings. This report is largely based on the information contained in the national plans for NZEBs submitted by eight Member States (BE, DK, CY, FI, LT, NL, SE and UK) as of the end of November 2012. In addition, information was drawn from the second National Energy Efficiency Action Plans.

The conclusion of the report is that too little progress has been made by the Member States in their preparations towards NZEBs by 2020. Member States have to significantly step up their efforts to implement the requirements regarding NZEBs in the EPBD to ensure that the EU's longer-term climate objectives are not jeopardised and the building sector can take full advantage of the opportunities NZEBs present.

The report is available here

On 20 June 2013, the Commission published a study on "Energy performance certificates in buildings and their impact on transaction prices and rents in selected EU countries". The study shows a positive impact of the Energy Performance Certificate under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2010/31/EU) on sales and rental prices indicating that better energy efficiency is rewarded in the market. In one of the first studies of its kind to include an analysis of residential markets in Europe, it was found that higher energy ratings result in substantially higher sales or rental values of buildings on average in most of the Member States that were analysed. The study was commissioned to consortium led by BIO INTELLIGENCE SERVICE.

On 18 April 2013, the Commission published a report on financial support for energy efficiency in buildings stressing that the EU needs to improve the financial support in this sector if it wants to meet its 2020 and 2050 targets. The Report is accompanied by a more detailed Staff Working Document and will be the basis for a discussion at the Informal Energy Council on 22 April.

In support of the analysis of the investment potential for energy efficiency in buildings and of the use of financial instruments at national level, two specific studies were undertaken for the Commission by Ecorys that can be downloaded here:

On 8 May 2012, the European Commission (EC) organised a stakeholder conference on financial support for energy efficiency with a focus on buildings. The aim of the conference was to discuss the role of the regulatory framework, EU financing instruments and Member States to stimulate financial support for energy efficiency.

On 16 January 2012, the EU adopted the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 244/2012 supplementing Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings.

Article 5 of the Directive 2010/31/EU required the EC)to establish a comparative methodology framework for calculating cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements. To obtain the input from experts into the development of this methodology framework, the EC organised two expert meetings.

On 19 May 2010, the EU adopted the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD) which is the main legislative instrument to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. 

Under this Directive, Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings, ensure the certification of building energy performance and require the regular inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems in buildings. Moreover, the Directive requires Member States to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings are so-called 'nearly zero-energy buildings'.

Revision of Directive 2002/91/EC

The Directive 2010/31/EU was adopted after experiencing the implementation of the first EPBD Directive 2002/91/EC in the Member States and following a proposal from the Commission in 2008 which was based on a detailed impact assessment. The aim of this revision was to clarify and simplify certain provisions, extend the scope, make some more effective, and provide for the leading role of the public sector.