EU Directives on Energy Efficiency

EU Directives on Energy Efficiency

European Union policy and legislation can have a significant impact on our manufacturing operations and the markets for our products.  Several key EU Directives and initiatives anticipated to have an impact on the architectural glass market in the UK are summarised below.

Energy Efficiency Directive

The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) established a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain, from production to final consumption.  Member States were required to renovate every year 3% of public buildings owned and occupied by central governments with an area above 250m2.  They were also required to draw up road maps for building renovation by 2050.

For the revision of the EED, the EU institutions have agreed on a non-binding 32.5% energy efficiency target for 2030, with a 2023 upward review clause.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

Under the EPBD - the EU’s most important legislative tool for energy efficiency in buildings - Member States must implement minimum energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings.  On July 9th 2018, a significantly revised version of the EPBD –– came into force.  

The main objective is to achieve a decarbonised building stock by 2050, with all new buildings being nearly zero energy by 2020.  National governments have until March 2020 to update their laws to reflect the changes.  Energy efficient glazing is expected to make an important contribution to meeting the requirements of the EPBD.

Energy Labelling of Windows

The scope of the EU Energy Labelling Directive was extended to include energy-related products.  Windows were identified by the European Commission as products that can have a significant impact on energy consumption.  A preparatory study was launched to identify the best approach for a European-wide labelling scheme for windows and develop the energy balance that would underpin such a scheme.   In light of the current workload, it is unclear if and when the European Commission will take forward proposals for an EU Window Energy Labelling scheme.

We are an active member of Glass for Europe, the trade association for flat glass manufacturers in Europe.  For more information on the above and other EU policies that could impact on our industry, please check out the Glass for Europe website