BELGIUM: EPEE has welcomed yesterday’s adoption of the revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) as “a step in the right direction”.

The revision, seeking tighter rules on national plans for decarbonisation of buildings by 2050, was adopted by a large majority of 51 votes by the European Parliament Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).

In particular, EPEE welcomed moves to reinforce the focus on building automation and control and on technical building systems, a decision which EPEE says will lead to significant energy savings.

However, the association attacked the failure to support a unified mandatory approach to calculating the energy performance through the mandatory uptake of the recently approved EPB standards. EPEE maintains that these are key to ensure a better enforcement of the EPBD.

The broad consensus of the vote is seen to strengthen the European Parliament’s position ahead of the trialogues with Members States, which EPEE expect to be difficult. In particular, EPEE says: “The discussion on “adequate advices” as alternatives to inspections of heating and cooling systems, which Member States have reintroduced in the negotiating mandates, will be challenging, although evidence of alternative measures’ positive effects is questionable at best.”

“We now call for Members of the European Parliament and representatives of Member States to work together towards reaching a future-proof EPBD. In this sense, the heating and cooling sector calls policy-makers to take their time to achieve an ambitious agreement in trialogue that will deliver actual energy savings”, said Andrea Voigt, EPEE director general.