As the deadline for new buildings to be nearly zero energy by 2020 – and two years earlier for public buildings – a new study has found that some countries are making more progress than others.
Carried out by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), the research is summarised in a factsheet entitled 'Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Across Europe'. It concludes that significant progress has been made towards these deadlines, but there is much more work to be done.
As buildings account for almost half of the EU's total energy consumption, they have been identified as having a key role in transforming Europe into a low carbon economy. The cornerstone of EU legislation to improve the energy efficiency of Europe's building stock is the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Two important dates in the EPBD are 31st December 2018, after which all new public buildings need to be nearly zero energy, and 31st December 2020, after which all new buildings will need to be nearly zero energy.
It was reported that several countries are already implementing their nearly zero energy strategies, whilst others are struggling to define nearly zero energy buildings.
The BPIE study also identified a gap between the strategies of Member States for new and existing buildings. It found that nearly zero energy requirements for buildings have been formally established in just 8 countries, 5 of which have set the same requirements for new and existing buildings.
In conclusion, BPIE have praised the progress to date, but expressed concerns that there are different levels of ambition across Europe which may bring into question how close to zero energy the buildings will be in reality.
The factsheet can be downloaded from the BPIE website by clicking here.