Countries and Regions
Europe and Central Asia

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is the European Union's (EU) main legislative instrument promoting the improvement of the energy performance of buildings among the Member States of the EU.

The EPBD sets a framework for energy-efficient building systems, which are adaptable to the national building codes of the Member States. The objective of the Directive is to promote energy savings in buildings by taking into account local climatic conditions in different parts of the EU as well as conditions such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity within buildings. Member States are granted flexibility in the implementation of building standards, taking into account their unique circumstances. In the residential sector, the progressive implementation of the building codes has facilitated an 11% reduction in final energy consumption in buildings between 2005 and 2015.

The EPBD sets a framework for energy-efficient building systems, which are adaptable to the national building codes of the Member States. The objective of the Directive is to promote energy savings in buildings by taking into account local climatic conditions in different parts of the EU as well as conditions such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity within buildings. Member States are granted flexibility in the implementation of building standards, taking into account their unique circumstances. In the residential sector, the progressive implementation of the building codes has facilitated an 11% reduction in final energy consumption in buildings between 2005 and 2015.

The EPBD further assists in providing transparent information to building occupants. It has introduced Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) schemes which inform building tenants and owners about the energy ratings of buildings and cost-effective ways to improve energy performance. The Directive also provides regulatory mechanisms for the energy performance of buildings. Inter alia, all Member States shall ensure that new public buildings are Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) – i.e. highly energy-performant buildings – by the end of 2018, while all new constructions shall be NZEBs by the end of 2020. It has also put in place a comprehensive renovation strategy, requiring Member States to prepare a roadmap to transform their current building stock to a highly efficient stock by 2050. Lastly, the EPBD has included several provisions for the use of smart technology for even more cost-effective energy use in buildings.

The comprehensive stakeholder engagement in the legislative process for the update of the EPBD, which was conducted in an utmost transparent manner, as well as the science-based nature of the process, makes the EU's approach a good practice in how countries may go about in tackling emissions from the building sector.

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