How our homes will become green: the EU directive for energy efficiency

How our homes will become green: the EU directive for energy efficiency

European green houses are on the way. "Energy Performance of Building Directive" is the directive approved by the European Parliament on March 14 which provides for a series of obligations for retrain, from an energy point of view, 15% of the more inefficient properties. An ambitious project that will accompany us until 2050. After the vote, the directive will continue its journey in final negotiations expected in June with the Member states to agree on the final text.

Although much criticized, the directive comes on a silver platter to tackle climate change, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and limit electricity bills. Buildings that are not energy efficient will be renovated to earn merit classes on the scale of "energy performance"which sorts properties from A (good) to G (bad).

Types of properties and deadlines

  • The class G residential buildings must reach the energy performance class And by 2030 And D by 2033.
  • The non-residential and public buildings they will have to reach class E and D respectively by 2027 And 2030.

ZEBs (zero emission buildings)

From the 2028all the new buildings will be carbon neutral and must have photovoltaic systems. From 2026, on the other hand, those occupied, managed or owned by public bodies.

The interventions

The energy performance of a building they can be improved with insulation work and a greener heating and cooling system.

There renovation of heating systems involves the replacement or modernization of the heat generator and can also concern other elements of the heating system, such as pumping systems, pipe insulation, controls or terminal units, such as radiators or fan coil units.

L'efficient use of waste heat from domestic hot water systems represents a significant opportunity for energy savings. Knowing that most of the hot water consumed comes from showers, collecting heat from shower drains in buildings could be a simple and effective way.

The green tax

Bonus for storage batteries from renewable sources, there's time until the end of the month

by Antonella Donati

The directive provides for ban fossil-fueled heating systems for all new or renovated buildings. The hybrid plants and those who can also use renewable energies. This is a possibility to use gas boilers "hydrogen ready"i.e. boilers certified to burn both fossil gas and hydrogen in the future.

There are various possibilities to cover, starting from renewable sources, the energy needs of an efficient building: renewable on site with solar thermal, geothermal or photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, hydroelectricity and biomass, renewables supplied by renewable energy communities or citizen energy communities, district heating and cooling powered by renewable sources or the recovery of waste heat from waste water, hot water for sanitary purposes or air and renewable energy supplied by energy grids.

When to renovate

Actions to improve energy performance must be carried out at the time of salefrom the building renovation or before the entry of a new tenant.

The exceptions

One is expected derogation of 22% of the building stock with the possibility of excluding religious buildings, buildings with historical value or subject to architectural constraints, second homes or holiday homes (which are inhabited for less than 4 months), and homes with a surface area of ​​less than 50 metres.


There are no sanctions at the European level. The extent and pertinence will be established by the member states.

National plans

Member States will be responsible for drawing up a national plan to ensure that the building stock is completely renovated according to the new energy efficiency parameters of the EU directive. In their national restructuring plans, states will have to include support schemes and measures to facilitate access to subsidies and finance, as well as setting up free information points and no-cost restructuring programmes.

Who pays?

At European level, the following will be available financial baskets: the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), post-Covid funds, investment funds, structural funds, the social climate fund. The novelty comes from the European Investment Bank which is retraining itself into a climate bank, and therefore - according to Irish MEP Ciarán Cuffe, main rapporteur of the directive - will provide low-interest rate financing.

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