Commission's proposal to increase energy savings in buildings needs to be more ambitious to unleash the full potential of energy communities in the Renovation Wave
Brussels, 15 December 2021 – Today, the European Commission released its proposal for a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to bring EU legislation on buildings in line with the EU’s increased climate ambition of achieving a 55 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the targets of the Renovation Wave.
The proposed EPBD strengthens action on energy savings and decarbonisation of buildings. REScoop.eu welcomes the acknowledgement of the role of energy communities in achieving increased renovations rates. However, more needs to be done to unleash the full potential of citizen-led renovation programmes.
With the proposal, the Commission increases its action on decarbonisation of buildings, including sharpened and expanded requirements for Member States National Building Renovation Plans (previously Long-Term Renovation Strategies). Moreover, for the first time, the EPBD acknowledges local action on building renovation by requiring member states to describe their policies and measures for energy communities in energy efficiency and decarbonisation for the building sector.
Dirk Vansintjan, President of REScoop.eu, the European Federation of Citizen Energy Cooperatives, said: “we value the Commission’s recognition of energy communities' role in supporting households on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and building renovation”. However, Vansintjan says: “If we want to tackle the enormous challenge of renovating a majority of Europe’s 195 million households by 2050, we need strong support for local action on energy efficiency and building renovation. The EPBD revision needs to ensure that the Renovation Wave delivers healthy, comfortable, and sustainable homes for all citizens.”
Right now, already over 3,000 energy communities in Europe provide trusted, independent, and accessible advice and support to (vulnerable) households on renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in their homes. Moreover, energy communities are increasingly running citizen-led renovation programs to expand their support to building renovation. With strong support from the EPBD and other pieces of the Fit for 55 Package, the development of the energy community movement can be accelerated and help make the Renovation Wave a success.
Now that the Commission has proposed this piece of legislation, it will enter the co-decision process, whereby the European Parliament and the Council will negotiate in parallel but separate processes on their own revisions to the texts.
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