eu.bac welcomes the successful plenary vote on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The rapporteur, Ciarán Cuffe, and the shadows once again can be lauded for leading the plenary to vote in favour of this crucial revision. The European Parliament has confirmed its leading role in driving the EU legislation to be up to the formidable challenges we face.

It is now incumbent upon the Swedish presidency to fulfil the EU’s agreed decarbonization ambition. We hope that, as in the Parliament’s position, the significance of Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS) as a cost-effective tool to achieve Europe’s decarbonization and energy security objectives will continue to be reinforced by confirming the measures approved by the European Parliament in the context of Article 11. Additionally, it must be maintained that the importance of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is not sacrificed when enhancing building energy efficiency. Furthermore, we hope the trilogues will address some of the remaining misgivings, particularly concerning data exchange (Art 14.). The Parliament already included two essential improvements to the text (“relevant raw data” and “according to the contractual agreement”) that must be preserved. Nevertheless, there are other elements in this article that, If left unchanged, could threaten the business case for energy service providers operating across the EU. As a result, eu.bac urges policymakers to take further steps to enhance this provision.

According to Hans Smid, the president of eu.bac: “the vote is a positive move for the European Union, and we hope that the Council will recognize the need for the increased ambition during the trilogues. Expanding requirements for digital technologies and recognizing the value of buildings equipped with them will lead to significant savings, accelerated decarbonization, and improved health and comfort for all Europeans”.

Gaia Balzarini, who chairs the eu.bac advocacy working group, commented, “the improved proposal finally addresses many easy-to-reach goals in decarbonizing Europe’s building stock. If implemented, cost-effective and simple improvements to often neglected technical building systems, such as hydronic balancing and BACS measures in residential buildings, will generate huge savings without the need for large investments or labour-intensive renovations requiring the relocation of inhabitants. Installing smart solutions in buildings and homes will distribute the economic value across multiple small stakeholders. We sincerely hope that the final agreement will reflect the full potential of these solutions.”

Simone Alessandri, the managing director of eu.bac, concluded that: “despite the positive aspects mentioned earlier, there are still some areas that require improvement. Firstly, the “economic feasibility” derogation of some requirements needs to be clearly defined. Member states should explain the exceptional cases where these measures should not be implemented in specific buildings to avoid misunderstandings and individual interpretation by professionals. Additionally, the impact of the provisions on Data Exchange needs careful consideration. While considerably improved, the current wording is still confusing and could risk citizens’ privacy rights and threaten the business models of many EU industries. Therefore, eu.bac urges the co-legislators to protect citizens’ privacy and businesses’ intellectual property by agreeing to address these concerns through implementing and delegated acts.

eu.bac affirms its dedication to working together and aiding co-legislators in the trialogue phase. With the European Parliament taking this crucial step, it is now the Council’s turn to demonstrate to EU citizens that member states can rise to the occasion and truly achieve the goal of creating a healthy, efficient, and intelligent building stock throughout the EU while meeting the Union’s decarbonization pledge.

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