Brussels, 15th March 2024

On Tuesday, MEPs adopted a new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The plans, agreed on by the Council, aim to make the EU building sector carbon neutral by 2050.

The targets set by the Directive are as follows:

  • All new buildings from 2030 should be zero-emission
  • From 2028, new buildings occupied or owned by public authorities should be zero-emission.
  • For residential buildings, member states will have to enact measures to reduce the average primary energy used of at least 16% by 2030 and at least 20 to 22% by 2035.
  • Member states will have to renovate the 16% ‘worst-performing’ non-residential buildings by 2030 and, by 2033, the ‘worst-performing’ 26% through minimum energy performance requirements.
  • If technically and economically suitable, member states would have to deploy solar installations progressively in public and non-residential buildings, depending on their size, and in all new residential buildings by 2030.

There is also a clause to phase out fossil fuel boilers by 2040.

FAFCE welcomes the general intention of reforms towards sustainability, as well as the exemptions noted in the directive for historical buildings, churches, and places of worship. 

However, on the method, FAFCE stresses the need to centre families and communities in the ecological transition.

Vincenzo Bassi, President of FAFCE, says: “The family has to be an ally to the ecological transition. Parents are the first and best line of defence in the fight for a sustainable future because they take the primary responsibility for the interests of their children. However, the method of some measures towards the ecological transition risks being viewed as imposing and inopportune, even if we agree wholeheartedly with the principle of ecological transition. Instead of requiring families to make significant investments during a longstanding economic crisis, families should be supported.

“Imposing without sharing, dialoguing, and collaborating with families will make the road to ecological transition more challenging than it needs to be. You can’t tell families that they have to suddenly pay thousands of Euros to adapt their buildings without helping them with the financing or just telling them to apply for European funds, which is normally a burdensome and bureaucratic process. It is simply inopportune in a cost of living crisis.

“Families need flexibility and to be included, not to be given yet another obligation to be anxious about without the appropriate support or involvement. In this way, without participating and sharing such decisions, families can perceive these measures as an attack to the value of their homes and their savings.”