Following rounds of negotiations, on Tuesday, 14 March, 2023, the EU Parliament adopted it’s position on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast. With only a few minor amendments from the text proposed in February, we are happy to see that ambition is being upheld for the next EPBD and the future of buildings in Europe.
Of particular relevance to our Horizon 2020 oPEN Lab project is Article 3a concerning integrated district and neighbourhood approaches, referred to as “integrated renovation plans/programmes.” The text acknowledges the opportunity for such approaches to provide a holistic approach to building renovations, taking into account the broader community, and has remained unchanged. Overall there is a reinforced importance of pursuing a neighbourhood and building approach in the version adopted this week by Parliament.
Following oPEN Lab’s policy recommendations, published in June 2022, we are pleased to see a strong emphasis put on Member States to empower regional and local authorities to identify opportunities for integrated renovation programmes. Additionally, the article gives a nod to energy efficiency first principle, while pushing demand-side flexibility – a key component to the implementation of positive energy neighbourhoods.
Next, we await the final text of the EPBD later this year so we can create specific policy recommendations at the EU, national, and local levels to help facilitate the implementation of Positive Energy Neighborhoods. Utilising the results of the oPEN Lab project, the team will create tools, including a policy roadmap and toolkit, to help Member States and local authorities.
Our project partner, BPIE – Buildings Performance Institute Europe – leading on policy exploitation – will track the political debate among co-legislators and identify further recommendations for an ambitious, yet socially equitable directive. oPEN Lab will also provide a detailed analysis of the final Directive text once available.
This is a great opportunity for Member States to renovate their building stocks in a cost effective and inclusive way, putting citizens and communities at the heart of the energy transition.