EU law to make it easier for people to renovate their homes


EU law to make it easier for people to renovate their homes

Important notice
Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the group as a whole
European energy efficiency classification

In 2022, as the energy crisis really began to wreak havoc on our electricity and gas bills, the EU relied on expensive imports for a whopping 62.5% of its energy consumption. In Ireland, we spend €1 million every hour on fossil fuel imports. The need to address the built environment within our efforts to counter climate change is clear, from both a climate and economic perspective.

Thankfully, a new European Union law will make it easier for people to renovate their homes, lower their household bills and help us achieve our climate targets. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which recently received a strong majority backing from the European Parliament, is a significant step towards decarbonising buildings across the bloc, reducing emissions and achieving the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

After lengthy negotiations, the resulting Directive is a balanced and practical agreement that gives Member States a very high degree of flexibility to take into account local circumstances and different starting points. It aims to fully decarbonise EU buildings by the middle of this century, addressing the pressing issue that buildings are responsible for 40% of our energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

There are many economic benefits to the legislation: For Europe, increasing energy efficiency will be an extremely important component of economic resilience. The energy crisis has clearly shown us the dangers of leaving our citizens, businesses, and industries  exposed to volatile global fossil-fuel markets and the crippling price spikes they bring. Ending our dependence on external sources for our energy supply is good for the climate, good for Europe’s energy security, and critically - good for our economy and EU competitiveness.

I would also emphasise the importance of private investment and EU funding for the transition, encouraging financial institutions to provide additional financing tools such as green mortgages and renovation loans.

The EPBD, initially met with resistance last year, underwent modifications to focus on reducing the energy use of residential buildings as a whole rather than mandatory individual revamps. The threat of compulsory renovation that had been hanging over millions of owners and tenants is now completely off the table.

Scaling up the deployment of renewable energy technologies is a vital part of delivering on our climate goals but it must go hand-in-hand with maximising the efficiency of our existing building stock.

The EPBD will make it easier for people to renovate their homes, ensuring our buildings consume less energy and rely on cheaper and greener renewable sources. This Directive can help inject affordability into Europe' Renovation wave.

- By Seán Kelly, Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South, and lead negotiator on the EPBD for the EPP Group

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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