oPEN Lab welcomes the European Parliament committee vote on the EU’s Buildings Directive

Feb 10, 2023

On Thursday, February 9th, 2023, after months of negotiations, the European Parliament’s ITRE committee convened to agree on a compromise amendment for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast. While the text is not final – a plenary vote will take place on March 13th, 2023 – this is a welcome step in determining the outcome of the revised Directive.

Of particular relevance to the Horizon 2020 oPEN Lab project are the amendments related to 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. Following oPEN Lab’s policy recommendations, published in June 2022, we are pleased to see the encouragement of 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.

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 in identifying and implementing positive energy neighbourhoods and other solutions for integrated renovation programmes.

Our project partner, the 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 on the final Directive text once approved.

This is a great opportunity for Member States to renovate in a cost effective, inclusive way, putting citizens and communities at the heart of the energy transition.