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A programme to deliver energy certificates for display in public buildings across Europe within a harmonising framework (EPLABEL)

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EPLabel addresses the requirement of the European Buildings Directive for "Public Buildings" over 1,000 m2 to display an Energy Certificate. The aim is to support Member States planning for and implementing Operational Ratings under the Directive, offering sufficient flexibility to accommodate national diversity whilst seeking increased European harmonisation. The project addresses the following building types: public administration offices, higher education, schools, sports facilities, hospitals and other health facilities, and hotels and restaurants. EPLabel intends to demonstrate a "graduated response" procedure, consistent with CEN Standards, which allows a progressive introduction of Article 7.3 to suit the knowledge available in each country for each building sector and the level of resources an organisation is able to apply: an easy entry level for cases where detailed information is hard to get or may be less rewarding, a more detailed assessment where the need and scope for improvement is greater.


  • EPLabel Spreadsheet and EPLabel Online ( tools have been developed for accurately demonstrating how energy certificates based on operational ratings can be produced. These tools are fully functional in each of the eight languages of the ten partner countries.
  • Crucial progress has been made towards harmonising the approach to operational rating assessments and developing energy benchmarks for public buildings.
  • The software was demonstrated to regulatory bodies through national and international events around Europe, including a web-cast during the European Union Sustainable Energy Week 2007.
  • The project contributed to the development of the standards prepared by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) which draws up voluntary technical specifications to help achieve the Single Market in Europe.
  • The software is fully compliant with these CEN standards.

Lessons learned

  • There are five key steps in the procedure for building energy certification based on an Operational Rating; EPLabel proposes a clear, robust and pragmatic way for Member States to implement these steps, offering sufficient flexibility to accommodate national diversity whilst seeking the harmonisation the EC desires
  • Building energy benchmarks can be categorised at three levels of sophistication: 1) simple (derived from stock statistics), 2) corrected (for special energy uses not included in the simple benchmarks) and 3) customised. The simpler Level 1 and 2 assessments may well suit the smaller and simpler buildings and be adopted in initial statutory implementations of Article 7.3, whilst the Level 3 benchmarking approach will allow more meaningful and fairer assessments of a building's energy use
  • Obliging building owners and occupiers to examine their actual energy performance and display the results will establish a fertile environment for reductions in energy demand and CO2 emissions, through investment, purchasing, improvement and management measures and by individual efforts

Partners and coordinator

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Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Jonathan Curren
0044 1225 812102
Jonathan Curren
0044 1225 812102l
Robert Cohen
0044 (0) 1225 812 102


Key documents

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In brief

01/01/2005 to 28/02/2007
Contract number: 

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