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Revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive – complete phase-out of fossil fuel boilers by 2040

On 15 December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council for a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, as part of the “Fit for 55” Work Programme of the Commission, which defines a vision for achieving a zero-emission building stock by 2050. Following an intensive preparatory work, the Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal of the recast of the Directive in 2022 and mandated the Presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament. The European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions adopted their opinion on the proposal in 2022 and 2023. Following several trilogies, on 14 December 2023, a provisional agreement was reached between the co-legislators, resulting in the final compromise text.

The final compromise text includes among others the following key elements: the Member States must establish a national building renovation plan containing a roadmap with national targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 in respect of the annual energy renovation rate. There is an obligation to define policies and actions regarding the decarbonisation of heating and cooling, including through district heating and cooling networks, and the phase-out of fossil fuels in heating and cooling with the aim of the complete phase-out of fossil fuel boilers by 2040. The compromise text contains requirements for Member States to ensure that new buildings owned by public institutions are zero-emission buildings from 2028 and all new buildings from 2030.

The compromise text also includes provisions for the installation of appropriate solar energy installations in buildings, where technically suitable and economically and functionally feasible. These provisions contain requirements for new buildings, with different dates and thresholds for public, non-residential and residential buildings. For instance, existing public buildings will be required to install solar energy, with a progressive approach that starts in December 2027 for the largest public buildings of size of 2,000 sqm. In addition, Member States should ensure the deployment of suitable solar energy installations on all new residential buildings by 31 December 2029.