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EU Parliament approves revised EPBD — a milestone in ‘Fit for 55’ climate initiative

EU Parliament approves revised EPBD — a milestone in ‘Fit for 55’ climate initiative

Source: Pexels

Revised EPBD — energy efficiency, zero-emission targets by 2030, carbon footprint requirements, & more

Fit for 55 — exploring the targets & key features of the updated EPBD in detail

On March 12, 2024, the EU parliament voted for a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a crucial step towards accelerating climate action on buildings. The successful vote means that the European Parliament and the EU Council have both approved the agreement text from December 2023, which comes at the end of a long negotiation process since the European Commission’s first EPBD proposal in 2021.

In the latest update to the EPBD, improvements are being made towards sustainability and energy efficiency in the EU's building sector. They include:

1. Carbon footprint requirements

The updated EPBD mandates calculating and reporting buildings' carbon footprints in line with EN 15978 and Level(s), a significant expansion from the existing EPBD's focus on operational energy consumption. The implementation of this carbon footprint calculation will start with larger buildings exceeding 1000 square meters in 2028 — and extend to all buildings by 2030.

2. Zero-emission standard for new buildings

Among these changes is introducing a zero-emission standard for all new buildings. Starting January 1, 2028, for publicly-owned buildings and January 1, 2030, for all other new constructions, these buildings must have zero on-site fossil fuel emissions, with some specific exceptions allowed.

3. Improving energy efficiency in buildings

The updated EPBD outlines objectives for EU countries to boost the energy efficiency of buildings, particularly those that are currently least efficient. The directive requires a reduction in energy consumption for residential buildings by 16% by 2030 and 20%-22% by 2035, primarily through upgrading the least efficient buildings. The EPBD also introduces uniform Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) across the EU.

4. Renovation initiatives 

The updated EPBD presents strategies for EU member states to improve building renovations and lower emissions. It involves the development of national strategies to make buildings more energy-efficient, introducing renovation passport programs to assist owners in achieving zero-emission buildings, and establishing comprehensive support centers for homeowners and SMEs pursuing renovation.  According to the new directive, member states will have to renovate 16% of worst-performing non-residential buildings by 2030 and, by 2033, the worst-performing 26% through minimum energy performance requirements.

Revised EPBD — timeline & what’s next

  • March 12, 2024: The revised EPBD is approved by the European Parliament.
  • 20 days following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union:  The revised EPBD will enter into force.
  • 2 years: The EU member states must transpose the revised EPBD into national laws in 2 years.
  • By 2050: The revised EPBD is essential in the EU's efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The approval of the revised EPBD marks a critical milestone for the construction industry's path towards sustainability. One Click LCA considers this directive as necessary, but not on it's own a sufficient step to meet the EU's climate goals, with further actions required from member states and businesses. This legislation aligns with our commitment to providing data, tools, and training to achieve the new standards efficiently.

Panu Pasanen
CEO, One Click LCA


Background – European Green Deal, Fit for 55 package & EPBD

Buildings account for 40% of the EU's energy usage, over half of its gas consumption, and 36% of energy-related greenhouse emissions. Around 35% of EU buildings are over 50 years old, 75% are energy inefficient, and the annual energy renovation rate is just 1%. The European Green Deal is the EU's strategy for a net-zero emission economy by 2050, featuring various policies, including the Fit for 55 package. This package targets a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 1990 levels. Within this framework, the EPBD sets the technical guidelines for lowering building emissions.

How can One Click LCA help you meet EPBD requirements?

One Click LCA supports EPBD compliance by offering carbon calculations and reports that align with EN 15978 and Level(s) framework requirements. This tool enables users to perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of buildings, quantifying environmental impacts across the building's life cycle and identifying critical areas for improvement. 

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Meet EPBD regulations — learn how

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