Looking forward to the adoption of the EPBD

The EPBD’s journey started towards the end of 2021, with a legislative proposal from the Commission. While it was a good first step, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator made sure to raise its ambition, with full support from EuropeOn.

In 2023, things became more difficult. Indeed, national political struggles started to weigh on the final approval for the Parliamentary mandate, and then even more on the negotiations between the Parliament and Member States.

 At this point, we became unnerved by the thought that the Directive may not be agreed upon in time for it to be passed before the 2024 elections. In this transitional context, it is of utmost important that a clear and specific direction of travel is set as early as possible. And this is especially vital in the case of buildings.

We have all become familiar with the huge share of emissions attributed to buildings, meaning that we all know there is no way around renovating a large share of our building stock to meet agreed climate and energy goals and fulfil the legal obligations we set ourselves under the Climate Law. Delays will only cost Europeans, and our industries need predictability to be able to deliver on the required renovation rates while making this endeavour an economic success with a sufficient and well-trained workforce.

Electrical contractors are a case in point. End-use electrification is poised to be the main driver for a large share of the decarbonisation of our buildings, with solar panels, electric heating, storage, automation and even supporting the decarbonisation of transport with EV charging. Electrical contractors, mainly SMEs, will have to be sufficiently available to enable consumers to electrify their homes. However, they currently face difficulties recruiting and are in some cases put off growing and upskilling their workforce because of mixed messages about the way forward. Having decisive legislation such as a strong EPBD can impart confidence about the future. It can remove some of the uncertainty and enable our businesses to make the investments where they matter.

Of course, EPBD is not just about predictability! It comes with tremendous benefits for our citizens and our economy, while making sure we deliver on our wider climate goals.

The journey is now drawing to a close as we near the formal adoption of EPBD, with the final vote in the European Parliament taking place in early March. Surely, we had wished for a more ambitious EPBD with stronger targets, but we welcome the deal that was struck and look forward to finally having a legislation that will enable concerned actors to plan ahead in confidence.