COM/2016/0765

Last updated: 30 September 2019
"Energy efficiency first" is a key element of the Energy Union – this proposal puts it into practice.

One of the ways to improve energy efficiency is to tap the huge potential for efficiency gains in the building sector which is the largest single energy consumer in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy. About 75% of buildings are energy inefficient and, depending on the Member State, only 0.4-1.2% of the stock is renovated each year.

The main objective of this proposal is to accelerate the cost-effective renovation of existing building, which represents a 'win-win' option for the EU economy as a whole. As a matter of fact, the European construction industry has the potential to respond to a number of economic and societal challenges such as jobs and growth, urbanisation, digitalisation, demographic changes, and at the same time energy and climate challenges.

The construction industry generates about 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million direct jobs. Construction activities that include renovation work and energy retrofits add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings, and SMEs contribute more than 70% of the value added in the EU building sector .

In line with the above mentioned objectives, this proposal will update the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ('EPBD' ) by:

• integrating long term building renovation strategies (Article of 4 Energy Efficiency Directive), supporting the mobilisation of financing and creating a clear vision for a decarbonised building stock by 2050;

• encouraging the use of ICT and smart technologies to ensure buildings operate efficiently; and

• streamlining provisions where they have not delivered the expected results.

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End uses covered
  • Building end-uses
  • Transport end-uses
  • Road transport
  • Refuelling