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Implementing the EPBD, aiming for the highest quality possible

Housing Europe takes part in the 2nd QUALICHeCK Conference

Brussels, 7 September 2015 | Published in Energy

Housing Europe participated in the 2nd QUALICHeCK conference on EPBD Review on 4 September 2015 in Brussels. The 2nd QUALICHeCK Conference gave an opportunity to share experience and discuss perspectives on the implementation of articles 18 and 27. The discussions expanded to the quality of the works which is another essential element to meet NZEB standards, although not addressed in the present EPBD.

The conference addressed:

  • The status on the ground regarding compliance and quality of the works, as emerged from field studies conducted within QUALICHeCK and discussions at the CA EPBD.
  • Key features to consider underway the road to improved compliance and quality of the works.
  • Perspectives in the context of the review of the EPBD.

Julien Dijol, Deputy Secretary General represented Housing Europe in the round table discussion which mainly focused on the present status on the ground regarding quality of the works, and on the view of users regarding present situation. Julien highlighted that the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are an instrument that helps driving the demand and supply of energy investments, however the EPC is not the main criterion to carry out the energy efficient programmes and in some countries it is rather the cost optimality which leads.

As an example of role played by the EPC, Julien mentioned Netherlands that have a system based on an agreement related to the EPC between the landlord and the tenants (the Dutch energy convenant) which allows to make energy refurbishment in social housing sector while maintaining the affordability of living.

Julien stressed that the NZEB targets are very ambitious, which means a challenge but also an opportunity for Europe. The quality insurance for providers, investors and tenants is crucial. More precisely, the maintenance professionals need more skills, the investors need reliable data on consumption and the tenants need ready to use and affordable technologies and comfort. To reach the NZEB targets until 2020, the policy can play a significant role to stimulate the road that we need to continue to head on. 

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The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive recast introduced in 2010 two important articles requiring Member States to implement independent control systems for the Energy Performance Certificates (article 18) and penalties in case of non-compliance (article 27). Although often overlooked, these aspects are essential to meet the overall goal of the EPBD, i.e., to generalise Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB) in practice. The Commission has launched a public consultation process which will run until 31 October 2015 for the evaluation and review of the present EPBD.