Energy Performance Certificates Across the EU

The report, published by the BPIE (Building’s Performance Institute Europe), analyses the national approaches of EU member states regarding the certification of the energy efficiency of their buildings. The conclusion is that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are among the most important factors that contribute to increasing the energy efficiency of the European building stock. However, for the most part, Member States face problems in accepting EPCs from the public and the market.

The report provides a comprehensive description of European Energy Certification schemes, as well as databases for residential and non-residential buildings, and identifies good practices that make EPCs reliable and accessible. Based on experience to date, the report aims to develop proposals for policy improvements, and concludes that poor data quality, lack of reliability due to lack of control, and limited access to EPCs through databases, prevent the full utilisation of energy schemes certification by European states.

Maps and diagrammes enrich the text and offer full oversight of the differentiation of the measures implemented between the European Member States, in various areas, such as design and methodologies, quality assurance, training of specialists, control systems, etc.

Energy Performance Certificates first appeared in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in 2002, and with the rewording of the above directive in 2010 additional requirements were added to improve the quality, usability, and their acceptance by the public. Today, all 28 EU member states have formally implemented the requirements of the EPBD in their national legal framework.

Energy Efficiency Certificates are a very important tool for promoting Energy Efficiency in buildings. By informing homeowners, tenants, or property managers about the energy consumption of their buildings, they create demand for energy efficiency improvements.

In some Member States, where Energy Certification schemes have a long tradition, a positive effect has been observed in the real estate market. Access to the information provided by the Energy Performance Certificate has had a positive effect on the energy behavior of buildings, contributing to the transformation of the market in line with the objectives of the EPBD. The report concludes on the need to strengthen the role of Energy Certificates in national legislation and to increase compliance monitoring of energy certification schemes at both Member State and European level. The European Commission should provide guidance for the development of robust Energy Performance Certificate registers, so that they can be independently audited and used as a tool to monitor the state of the European building stock. Finally, it is proposed to evaluate EPCs in a way that is understandable to independent actors.

This is the introductory text published by the BPIE, and refers to the study presented for the Energy Performance Certificates.

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