The European Council and the European Parliament have agreed to changes to two key energy-efficiency directives to make them compatible with Lisbon Treaty requirements on delegated acts. The changes will now come under MEPs' scrutiny. Member states in the Council of the EU endorsed the agreement on 14 April, with MEPs expected to give their official agreement at their plenary session on 18 May.
The deal concerns directives on the energy performance of buildings and energy labeling. Although the content of both directives was agreed to in November 2009, some areas of the proposal had to be left open subject to the adoption of the Lisbon treaty and the arrangements concerning legal basis and the provisions concerning the delegated acts. Now that MEPs and member states have finished negotiating the necessary provisions for urgent legislation on an individual basis, a formal adoption by the Parliament and a subsequent adoption by the council are considered a mere formality.
After these changes, the transposition of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) will now be two years after the entry into force of the directive. Furthermore, by the end of 2018, member states shall ensure that new buildings occupied and owned by a public authority are "nearly zero", with the extension of this deadline to 2020 for other new buildings.
As regards financing, member states will have to draw up a list of existing and proposed measures. The commission committed to promote the use of the European Regional Development Fund which now has allocated 8 billion for increasing energy efficiency and uses of renewable energy in the housing sector and will support member states in better use of all available funds and funding that can act as leverage for stimulating investments in energy efficiency. In addition, the commission will explore the possibility of further developing all existing initiatives, such as the Smart Cities initiative and the use of the Intelligent Energy Europe II budget. Moreover, the commission shall prepare an overview and analysis of financing mechanisms currently in place in member states.
Concerning energy performance certificates, the obligation to display the certificate in public buildings has been reinforced, and the performance indicator set on the certificate must be indicated in housing advertisements.