Energy Performance of Buildings Directive adopted

Sustainable buildings
15 May 2018


On 30 November 2016, the European Commission announced the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) as part of the Clean Energy Package for All Europeans. EU lawmakers reached a political agreement on the revised EPBD during the trilogue negotiations on 20 December 2017. The revised directive mandates improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings and encourages building renovation in the EU.


Objectives include a low and zero-emission EU building stock by 2050; greater use of digital tools to foster energy efficiency; a "smart readiness indicator" to measure a building’s capacity to use new technologies and electronic systems and optimise its operation and interact with the grid; long term building renovation strategies; combatting energy poverty and reducing household energy bills. The revised EPBD was approved in plenary at the European Parliament on 17 April 2018. This final vote indicates the closure of the first of 8 legislative proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package published on 30 November 2016. On 14 May 2018, the Council of Ministers adopted the revised EPBD, completing the final stage in the legislative procedure.Final endorsement will be followed by the publication of the text in the Official Journal of the European Union, and will enter into force 20 days after publication. Thereafter, Member States will have 20 days to transpose the new elements of the revised Directive into national law.


Cerame-Unie published a position paper on the revision of the EPBD on 13 September 2017. Cerame-Unie supports a holistic approach and the use of primary energy demand as an indicator, which is the most appropriate indicator for calculating energy performance of buildings. It is also necessary to consider a two-fold approach when calculating the energy performance of buildings:


  • For renovation, the level of thermal insulation of the building envelope in existing buildings is normally poor compared to new buildings. Hence, it is essential to prioritise the optimisation of the insulation of the building envelope for renovation of old buildings.

  • For new buildings, the level of thermal insulation of the envelope is already very high because of existing requirements in national building regulations.

Thus, the calculation of the energy performance of new buildings should take into account a combination of a very good standard of insulation with modern heating/cooling technology and the supply of the building from renewable energy. This leads to the most economically and ecologically optimal solutions for new buildings.