Transforming the sustainability of Europe’s building stock

Responding to current proposals to revise two EU Directives on energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has today called on the EU to set a binding long term goal to bring the buildings sector to a nearly-zero energy standard by 2050 and for Energy Performance Certificates to be transformed from a static into a dynamic tool.

11th March 2016, London  

Launching a paper on Transforming the Sustainability of Europe’s building stock, Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, IIGCC said today:

“2016 is year when the EU must move swiftly via its 2030 framework for climate and energy to implement the policy changes necessary to realise the pledges made at the historic Paris climate conference (COP 21). Energy efficiency improvements in the European property sector must form a key part of any strategy for delivering the overall EU objective of greenhouse gas emissions neutrality by 2050.”

Tatiana Bosteels, Chair of the IIGCC property working group and Head of Responsible Property Investment at Hermes Investment Management added: 

“The revision of these two EU Directives offers a vital opportunity to reshape the EU’s energy efficiency framework in ways that will ensure it drives radical improvements in the energy efficiency performance of Europe’s existing building stock.

“While the EU is narrowly on track to deliver its 2020 energy efficiency target, a step change in effort is required to realise the target set for 2030. Given that less than 2% of European buildings are replaced every year, the focus clearly has to be on ensuring the revision of these directives drive a much greater rate of renovation and refurbishment across all of Europe’s existing building stock.

“IIGCC members active in the property sector believe that ‘continuous improvement’ should be applied to energy efficiency efforts in the building sector and - to support that shift – that energy performance certificates should be transformed from a static into a dynamic tool that measures both design and operational performance and allows continuous monitoring and corresponding action.”

With regard to the energy performance of buildings directive IIGCC members:

 - call for the introduction of EPCs that cover both the design performance and the operational performance of buildings.  
 - would like to see the EPCs evolve from a static to a dynamic tool that allows for continuous improvement of energy efficiency levels.
 - suggest EPC providers should in future be required to deliver both a paper/PDF version of the EPC and an electronic EPC, which includes all underlying electronic files and data.
 - foresee that Electronic EPC certificates could then be used for an operational performance ‘rate and display’ approach, becoming the foundation of an electronic building passport.
 - suggest EPC providers should be stripped of their accreditation if found to be non-compliant. 

With regard to the energy efficiency directive IIGCC members:

 - support the continuation of energy obligations beyond 2020
 - suggest energy obligations should rise beyond the current 1.5% annual level of improvements in energy efficiency compared to total energy sales (in order to deliver the more ambitious 2030 target).  
 - support the continuation of climate mainstreaming post-2020 and suggests the appropriate level (20%+) should be decided once further analysis has been conducted. 

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