In accordance with the Work programme for its Presidency of the Council, Sweden decided to strengthen the legislative incentives to fight against climate change.
In this context the Swedish Presidency wants to accelerate the on-going debate on the amended Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The talks between the European Parliament and the Council will therefore starts on 30 September 2009.
The Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings belongs to the EU initiatives to meet its climate commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Since many members states failed to implement the complete set of its provisions, a new version of this directive has been submitted to Parliament’s approval. The European Parliament took its first-reading position on 23 April 2009 and amended the Commission’s proposal by attaching a clause according to which all new buildings would have to produce at least as much energy as they use by 2019.
The other key points of the Directive are the following:
- a common methodology for calculating the integrated energy performance of buildings;
- minimum standards on the energy performance of new buildings and existing buildings that are subject to major renovation;
- systems for the energy certification of new and existing buildings and, for public buildings, prominent display of this certification and other relevant information. Certificates must be less than five years old and must be available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out;
- regular inspection of boilers and central air-conditioning systems in buildings and assessment of heating installations in which the boilers are more than 15 years old.
The discussions will focus on two issues namely the directive’s implementation date and the latest Parliament’s amendment. Originally the Commission wanted the directive to be transposed to national law by the end of 2010; however member states expressed their concerns about the too early deadline.
In order to reach an agreement, a compromise including two different dates of application for public and private buildings could be envisaged.
Since the Parliament’s requirements and expectations as regards the efficiency criteria seem to go beyond the standards the member states are willing and able to set, it is an important as complicated negotiation that will start on 30 September 2009.