The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings has called upon the European Commission to set a ‘Nearly Zero Energy Building’ stock standard by 2050.
In a letter addressed to EC president Jean-Claude Juncker and vice president Frans Timmermans, the alliance has said European businesses, investors, citizens and governments need a “clear 2050 vision” following the agreement reached at COP 21 in Paris last year.
It claims that the looming review of the Energy Performance of Buildings and Energy Efficiency directives – for which the European Commission is already under significant pressure to establish more ambitious targets – present a “unique opportunity” for the EU to “act big on big issues”.
“This ambition of a Nearly Zero Energy Building stock by 2050 is aligned with the European Parliaments call (EED and H&C Own Initiative Reports), the EU’s 2030 energy and climate objectives and would help accelerate the implementation of meaningful national renovation strategies around a common shared objective,” the letter reads.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive already requires all new buildings to be constructed to NZEB standards by the end of 2020, but the alliance’s call for this to be extended to all existing current stock would represent a significant retrofit programme on a continental scale.
This, the alliance has said, would result in extra job creation and growth, particularly within the construction and building sectors.
“A high level political commitment for renovation will give industry the much needed signal and certainty to unlock investments, in turn removing some of the market failures.
“Most of all, making Europe’s buildings better through a mass EU-wide renovation movement will bring invaluable benefits to the whole of society by helping deliver something that every European citizen wants and deserves: a comfortable, safe and affordable home. This is a ‘win-win’ for Europe,” the letter concludes.
Co-signees of the letter include various construction and energy efficiency firms, including the likes of Kingspan, Knauf Insulation, Philips, NSG Group and Siemens.