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European regulatory framework on the energy performance of buildings

In Europe, buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Currently, more than 35% of buildings in Europe are more than 50 years old and almost 75% of the residential stock is not energy efficient and less than 1% is renovated every year.

Improving the energy performance of buildings would have the following benefits:

  • Reduce Europe’s energy consumption by 5-6%
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 5%
  • Improve the occupants quality of life
  • Reduce diseases caused by poor indoor air quality

There are several directives in place at European level to improve the energy performance of housing.

  • 2002/91/EC directive – Energy Performance of Buildings: it requires EU Member States to issue Energy Certificates for buildings.
  • 2005/32/EC directive – Ecological design requirements for energy-using products.
  • 92/75/EC directive – Labelling information on energy consumption levels of household electrical products.
  • 2009/125/EC directive – Establishes a framework for the definition of eco-design requirements for energy-related products and aims to improve energy efficiency throughout the life cycle of a product. This applies to products that use energy and products that have an impact on energy consumption, such as building components.
  • 2010/31/EU directive revised in 2018 under Directive 2018/844/EU – Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: this directive implies that all new buildings must be NZEB, i.e. buildings with low energy needs. This will apply to all service buildings from 1st January 2019 and to residential dwellings from 1st January 2021.
  • 2012/27/EU directive – Energy Efficiency Directive: Aims to increase the energy performance in residential and service buildings and reduce carbon intensity. This can include the promotion of high-performance insulating materials, double glazing, frames with thermal bridge breaks and low-emissivity glazing.