European authorities opt against a single EU-wide boiler ban as they set out new energy efficiency targets for buildings and how they are heated

The European Commission’s revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) backs ending government incentives for fossil fuel boilers by later this decade to support a switch to renewable energy.

Provisions within the revised directive ultimately fall short of demanding an outright ban on existing gas boilers. Instead, they focus on paving the way for individual nations to set their own timelines for moving over to renewable-powered heating systems.

The EPBD document stated, “As the lifetime of heating systems is about 20 years, the EPBD foresees that fossil-fuel powered boilers will not be eligible for public support as of 2027.”

“While the EPBD proposal does not mandate an EU-level phase out date for fossil fuel boilers, it introduces a clear legal basis for national bans, allowing member states to set requirements for heat generators based on greenhouse gas emissions or the type of fuel used.”

Several EU member states are said to support the boiler proposals in the new directive as an essential step to decarbonise their building stock, according to the commission.

The overall ambition of the new EPBD is to create a stricter legal framework and targets to support the decarbonisation of buildings across the EU.  These are intended to impact not only how cooling and heating functions are powered, but also how indoor air quality is managed in properties.

Among the new EPBD proposals is a requirement for all new buildings to ensure their energy needs can be met entirely from renewable power by the end of the current decade – where technically possible.

EPC rating rethink

Public buildings will be expected to meet the same targets by 2027. Revisions have also been made to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements used to rate building efficiency.

This will see both public and non-residential buildings in the EU having to be renovated to ensure they can meet at least EPC Band F by 2027.  Further improvements to ensure these same buildings are rated at least Band E will then be expected to be met by 2030.  Residential building will also be expected to have a minimum EPC rating of Band E by 2033.

Other changes to the EPBD include the introduction of ‘renovation passports’ and a focus on improving use and access to energy performance data. These amendments are intended to support the ‘deep renovation’ of European building stock on higher levels of energy efficiency improvements in how buildings operate. New metrics to measure these renovation plans will meanwhile look at lifecycle carbon emissions reductions and the full energy consumers of a building or its systems during their operational life.

As part of the amendments, a new template is also being established for the EPC system to more clearly indicate the role of renewable energy production in meeting a building’s energy needs.

The European Commission stated, “The revision improves the recognition of renewable energy sources in the calculation of the overall performance of the building, particularly when a building is part of a larger energy grid, such as a district heating or cooling system.”

The European Commission’s revisions of the EPBD fall the same week that the UK has published updated Building Regulations intended to ensure a more efficient building stock.


Source link