9881908_sEUROPE: The European Commission has opened a public consultation to evaluate the effectiveness of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

First published in 2002, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC, EPBD) required all EU members to introduce energy certification schemes for buildings, including inspections of air conditioners and boilers.

The Commission is required to carry out an evaluation of the Directive by the end of 2016. The evaluation should reflect the experience gained and progress made since the adoption of the Directive. If necessary, the Commission should make proposals on the basis of the evaluation.

The evaluation also follows on from the Energy Efficiency Communication of July 2014, which indicated that additional measures to be introduced to improve energy efficiency would need to primarily address the energy efficiency of buildings and products if progress is to be made by 2030. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is the main legislative instrument in force at EU level covering these areas.

The Energy Union, launched in February 2015 identifies improvements to energy efficiency in the building sector as a change that could make a critical contribution to the Commission’s energy strategy. As part of the Energy Union, the Commission will also look to simplify access to existing funding.

Measures relating to energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy form part of broader initiatives, designed to ensure that the EU meets the objectives of its energy and climate change policy.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires Member States to set energy performance standards for buildings, to issue buildings with energy performance certificates and to ensure that, by the end of 2020, all new buildings are ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings. The Directive introduced a benchmarking system, the aim of which is to create an incentive for making the energy performance requirements set by national or regional building codes more ambitious, and to ensure that these requirements are reviewed regularly. Member States were required to have most of the measures set out under the Directive in force by January 2013. It has been estimated that the Directive will reduce the EU’s total energy consumption by 5-6 % by 2020, and lead to the creation of between 280,000 and 450,000 new jobs.

The consultation is designed to allow respondents to answer the questions that are relevant to them, their knowledge and experience, and/or to their concerns. Respondents are not required to answer all questions. There are twelve sections.

For further information and to access the consultation documents visit the European Commission website.