Energy Crisis Forces More Ambition in EU Green Buildings Law

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Soaring energy prices are mounting pressure on Europe to renovate its ageing, inefficient buildings as governments scramble to protect citizens from rising utility bills.

Europe’s buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of its energy consumption and many are in desperate need of better insulation in order to decrease the EU’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Buildings are a key sector when it comes to addressing high energy prices and security of supply concerns, said Paula Rey Garcia from the European Commission’s energy department, who spoke at a Brussels event in September.

In light of the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine, there needs to be an “ambitious” revision of the EU’s energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD), added Martin Pejřimovský, energy attaché at the EU representation of the Czech Republic, which currently holds the bloc’s six-month rotating presidency.

As the EU presidency holder, Czechia aims to find a common position among the EU’s 27 member states before handing over the reins to Sweden on 1 January to finalise negotiations on the bill with the European Parliament.

While not a short-term solution to the energy crisis, updating the buildings law must be part of the EU’s answer, said Pejřimovský, who believes the current version is no longer fit for purpose.

“It’s not enough for the challenges that we will be facing tomorrow and in the decades after, especially considering everything that’s going on with the war in Ukraine and the complete revision of a lot of truths and beliefs that were connected to the way we are running our economy,” the Czech attaché told attendees at the event.