Advancing energy performance certificates to next generation

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Margaux Barrett

1584 Last modified by the author on 12/10/2022 - 12:05
Advancing energy performance certificates to next generation

To strategically support Member States in meeting the requirements set up under the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) – currently under negotiation – it is crucial to realise the full potential of energy performance certificates (EPCs) as effective information tools. This means making EPCs a catalyst for energy renovations and transforming them into a reliable asset benefiting policymakers, public authorities and endusers (building owners, tenants, utilities, developers, financial institutions and other users).

This X-tendo briefing is targeted at policymakers at EU and Member State level, public authorities (government or public advisory bodies at national, regional or local level) and institutions (e.g. national energy agencies, certification bodies) responsible for the design, implementation and management of EPCs. It is built on the main results of the X-tendo project and provides recommendations on how to take EPC schemes to the next level. The project developed 10 innovative EPC features. Five features are new indicators that can be added to certificates: (1) smart readiness, (2) comfort, (3) outdoor air pollution, (4) real energy consumption, (5) potential of district energy connection. A further group of five features is related to the better use and handling of EPC data: (6) quality assurance through EPC databases, (7) digital building logbooks, (8) enhanced recommendations for building owners, (9) advice on financing options, and (10) new and more effective one-stop-shops.

Achieving a balance between regulatory targets, voluntary standards and support measures is necessary to achieve the decarbonisation goals of the building sector set under EU policies. The EPC is the only mandatory policy instrument that is embedded in Member States’ policies and widely known by end-users. The recommendations proposed by X-tendo emphasise that better coverage of the building stock with EPCs is a precondition for their improvement, but at the same time Member States would need to ensure that they are affordable and accessible. The EPBD recast proposal also mentions that the EPC should provide additional information to the owner or tenant to foster renovation of the building sector. This would provide a necessary push to unlock private and public funding and subsidies.

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