All buildings built after 31 December 2018 will have to produce their own energy on-site, said the Industry Committee, amending the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. MEPs also called for more public investments in energy-efficient buildings.
By 31 December 2018 at the latest EU Member States must ensure that all newly-constructed buildings produce as much energy as they consume on-site – e.g. via solar panels or heat pumps, says a report drawn up by Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (PES, RO). The Commission proposal did not include any specific target dates for zero-energy buildings.
The Industry Committee also wants Member States to set intermediate national targets for existing buildings, i.e. to fix minimum percentages of buildings that should be zero energy by 2015 and by 2020 respectively.
MEPs define zero-energy buildings as buildings „where, as a result of the very high level of energy efficiency of the building, the overall annual primary energy consumption is equal to or less than the energy production from renewable energy sources on site“. By the end of 2010, the Commission should establish a detailed common European definition of „net zero energy buildings“, states the amended directive.
Step up financial support for improving energy efficiency of buildings
The committee added new provisions to the text which require Member States to draw up national action plans by 30 June 2011 setting out financial instruments for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, such as low-interest loans, fiscal rebates on income or property taxes or requiring energy suppliers to offer financial assistance to consumers.
Moreover, the Commission should by 30 June 2010 propose additional EU financial instruments such as:
– increasing the share of European Regional Development Fund money available for energy-efficiency measures to at least 15%,
– establishing, by 2014, an Energy Efficiency Fund financed by the Community budget, the European Investment Bank and Member States, to promote private and public investment in projects increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, and
– VAT reductions for goods and services related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.