The Greens/EFA group has today backed plans to improve energy efficiency in homes that would see considerable environmental, social and health benefits for EU citizens. The European Parliament’s committee on Industry, Research and Energy voted in favour of proposals to improve the energy performance of buildings. The committee has called for a long term renovation strategy with milestones and the need to demonstrate measurable progress. The proposals form part of the European Commission’s Clean Energy package.
Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur Florent Marcellesi comments:
“If we are to live up to the Paris Climate Agreement and ensure that people live in healthy, efficient and affordable houses, there needs to be a real commitment to renovation of Europe’s housing stock. This isn’t just a matter of environmental protection. Ensuring homes are warm and efficient will do a lot for people’s finances and for their health, too.
“That’s why we want to see focussed action on improving conditions for the most vulnerable groups. Many European citizens continue to live in fuel poverty and tackling energy efficiency of homes could go a long way to alleviate this problem. We also want to see citizens more empowered. People must have better access to advice services and financial support to help them play an active role in the renovation process. Cities are also a key player in the energy transition.
“We’re pleased to have helped ensure a more global approach to renovation. Our amendment, which won the backing of the committee, would mean that Member States could apply the minimum requirements to a whole district instead of a single building. This will allow a much more integrated and sustainable approach to the district's energy and mobility system.
"The EU Member States have been dragging their heels on this, taking a much weaker stance. They will need to show much greater ambition if this directive is to truly deliver on its potential. We will work on that in the trilogue with the European Commission and European Council."
The 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive are the EU's main legislation when it comes to reducing the energy consumption of buildings, currently responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% CO2 emissions of the EU. On the 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (and to the EED) to help promote the use of smart technology in buildings and to streamline the existing rules.
The committee also voted to approve the mandate for trilogue negotiations with the European Commission and the European Council. Unless this is challenged in the upcoming plenary (October 23-26), negotiations are expected to commence in November.