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EU adopts directive to decarbonise the buildings sector

On March 12, the European Parliament adopted a revised version of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in EU's building sector.

Denmark’s road to greening its building stock

To reach the goal of a fossil-free society by 2050, it is important to decarbonise the buildings we live in. By switching to electric heat pumps or district heating, renovating instead of demolishing, and creating green buildings we can significantly lower their CO2e emissions.

Explore Denmark's green buildings

Yesterday, Members of the European Parliament agreed to plans to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the buildings sector.

The new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive aims to progressively reduce GHG emissions and energy consumption in the EU’s building sector with the ultimate goal of contributing to climate neutrality by 2050 in the EU. The directive also aims to renovate worst-performing buildings and improve information-sharing on energy performance.

Also read: Denmark’s journey to decarbonise its buildings through energy efficiency

Energy efficient buildings is key to reaching Europe’s climate goals

Buildings are the single largest energy consumer in Europe.

As of today, buildings account for around 50 percent of EU member states’ total energy consumption, posing a significant obstacle to achieving the EU’s ambitions of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

The new directive mandates zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030, with public buildings required to comply by 2028. Emission calculations must consider the entire life cycle of building materials.

Also read: The Danish approach: Six ways to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings

The directive also states that member states must reduce average primary energy use in residential buildings by 16 percent by 2030 and 20-22 percent by 2035. The directive mandates renovating the least efficient 16 percent of non-residential buildings by 2030 and the worst 26 percent by 2033. Solar installations must be deployed in public and non-residential buildings by 2030 and integrated into all new residential buildings.

Lastly, states must present strategies for decarbonising heating systems, aiming to eliminate fossil fuel use in heating and cooling by 2040. Subsidies for stand-alone fossil fuel boilers will be prohibited from 2025, but incentives for hybrid systems will continue.

To read the official press release, visit: Energy efficiency of buildings: MEPs adopt plans to decarbonise the sector 

Sound of Green: Designing for sustainability

Take a deep-dive on energy efficiency in the building stock, by listening to experiences and insights from Danish experts on the field, such as The Danish Energy Agency, VELUX, and COWI.

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Explore our white paper: Energy renovation of buildings

Download our white paper and discover how to realise the untapped potential of the built environment with energy renovation of buildings.

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29 November 2023
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