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More on the 2002 Directive (2002/91/EC)

This Directive is now being replaced by the recast (Directive 2010/31/EU) approved 19 May 2010.
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The 2002 Directive was designed to promote the energy performance of buildings in Member States through:

  • introduction of a framework for an integrated methodology for measuring energy performance;
  • application of minimum energy performance standards in new buildings and certain renovated buildings, and regular updating of these standars;
  • energy certification and advice for new and existing buildings; and
  • inspection and assessment of boilers and heating/cooling systems.

This was a complex directive to implement. Buildings are very different across Europe as they depend on the culture, the climate, the construction materials available, the differing legal frameworks and the economic development, which makes it difficult to have a common approach at EU level. Thus, it is not surprising that difficulties were encountered during the preliminary phase between 2003 and 2006 that continue to affect implementation. In fact, there are still difficulties with full implementation.

To support MS in implementation, the Concerted Action EPBD was launched by the European Commission to promote dialogue and exchange of best practice between experts. Build Up is an initiative supported by the Intelligent Energy – Europe programme to provide information services for practitioners and consultants, experts in energy agencies, interest groups and national policy makers in the European Member States for helping the implementation of the Directive. It replaced the EPBD Buildings Platform.

Member States were given three years to transpose EPBD into national legislation in each Member State. The requirement for transposing is different from, for instance, the eco-design Directive which covers (globally) traded products. Under the eco-design Directive, requirements for each new product group are issued in the form of a regulation that takes effect in all MSs simultaneously and with exactly the same requirements.


eceee's comments

Transposing the EPBD into national legislation and then fully implementing the Directive has been slower than was envisaged. eceee therefore wants the EU and national governments to fully implement and benefit from the existing directive as soon as possible and we make detailed recommendations to achieve this.

eceee firmly believes that legislation alone cannot achieve the full energy saving potential in buildings and that many complementary initiatives are required. First of all, the Directive needs to be accompanied by efforts to change attitudes and behaviour to energy use within buildings without which the maximum benefit of sustainable energy technologies will not be achieved.

To accelerate the savings that should arise (e.g. from the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates for buildings), there need to be information and awareness raising campaigns aimed at building owners and training campaigns targeted at all market agents in the building sector. And there need to be further complementary measures such as financial support to accelerate the deployment of recommended efficient building technologies.

Furthermore, it is important that the energy and carbon dioxide savings arising from the implementation of the EPBD are reported in a harmonised reporting framework such as that being agreed under the EU Directive on End Use Efficiency and Energy Services (ESD).