The EU institutions have reached an agreement on the reform of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The compromise on the last outstanding points after the marathon negotiations in October came to fruition after about two hours of negotiations. The new directive sets out an EU pathway to achieve a climate-neutral building stock by 2050. On the most controversial point of the directive, an agreement had already been reached in October: instead of EU renovation requirements for individual buildings based on harmonised energy classes, the compromise text provided for an approach based on the average over the entire building stock. In this context, the European Parliament maintained the principle that Member States should take action first on the most inefficient buildings. But the states brought home the flexibility required in their negotiating position. On the other hand, the interim energy savings targets for the entire building stock of the member countries were decided today.
Member States will ensure that the residential building stock reduces average energy consumption by 16% in 2030 and 20-22% in 2035. 55% of the energy reduction will have to be achieved through the renovation of the worst-performing buildings. Residential buildings are excluded from the obligation to install solar panels on buildings, while public and non-residential buildings of large tonnage remain contemplated, with exceptions. The end of fossil fuel heating systems in homes has been postponed from 2035 to 2040.
"Tonight we have achieved an extraordinary result," commented the European Parliament's rapporteur Ciaran Cuffe, "a project for the decarbonisation of the world's building stock". For shadow rapporteur Isabella Tovaglieri, "the home of Italians is safe from ideological extremism". The approved rules, commented EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, are "a series of concrete measures that improve the lives of our citizens, reducing energy bills and stimulating the economy". "We will have to verify the texts, but the common-sense approach that prevailed at the meeting of October 12 seems to be confirmed," says the president of Confedilizia, Giorgio Spaziani Testa, "an approach that eliminates direct obligations for owners, leaving the States more freedom of action."
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