After the Council of Ministers published the latest text of the draft law of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EU governments added to a growing list of concerns about plans to revise the 2002 directive. Member states have already raised doubts over key elements of the commission's proposal, including a plan to scrap the current 1,000 m² threshold, above which buildings undergoing major refurbishment must meet minimum national efficiency standards.
By 2019 all new buildings in the EU are required to produce more renewable energy than they consume.
Governments have also referred to several of the European Parliament's first-reading amendments as "overly ambitious and unrealistic". These include a timeline of 2019 for all new buildings in the EU to produce more renewable energy on-site than they consume.
The council's latest draft text questions a commission proposal to stop member states from providing fiscal incentives for the construction and renovation of buildings that fail to meet national efficiency standards after 2014. Several governments feel this would "infringe on their budgetary decision-making powers", the council says. A perceived lack of precision in parts of the draft law is another concern. The commission said the new rules would apply to whole buildings "and parts thereof". But governments want more clarity on what this would mean in practice, and have removed the wording from the text.
Member states have expanded on the elements in the proposal that they say carry an undue administrative burden. These include an obligation on governments to ensure that alternative energy systems are considered for installation before new buildings are built. Several countries also argue that some of the proposed implementation deadlines in the law are "much too soon".
Governments are set to continue their discussions of the proposals in the coming months. The Swedish EU presidency has said it will open negotiations with MEPs on a possible second-reading agreement in late September, even if member states have not yet reached political agreement on the plans.
Source: European Council