Considering that 40% of the European Union’s energy consumption can be traced back to its buildings, it is essential to improve their energy efficiency in order to achieve the EU’s energy efficiency targets. Both the rate of energy renovation and its depth, i.e. the amount of energy savings during a renovation, need to be improved.
An important instrument to enhance the market uptake of energy-efficient new buildings and the energy-efficient renovation of existing buildings are the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), regulated by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) of the European Commission.
The energy performance assessment and certification schemes offer an objective estimate of a building’s energy efficiency under normal use and cover many of the aspects for the long-term renovation strategies required by the EPBD. However, there are several challenges to overcome in order to increase market confidence and incite investments in energy efficient buildings, such as enhanced reliability, quality of the renovation recommendations, cost-effectiveness, and compliance with relevant EU standards and the EPBD.
The Horizon2020 funded project QualDeEPC aims to enhance (1) the quality and cross-EU convergence of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) schemes, and (2) the link between EPCs and deep renovation.
QualDeEPC will work on EU-wide convergence of the building assessment and the issuance, design, and use of quality-enhanced EPCs as well as their recommendations for building renovation. The aim is to make these recommendations coherent with deep energy renovation towards a nearly-zero energy building stock by 2050. Under the coordination of the Wuppertal Institute, the project partners will work to create consensus in the participating countries and beyond, and to implement as many improvements as possible during the project period, involving certification bodies, energy agencies, building sector and certification stakeholders, and other relevant organisations.
In order to reach the objectives, the project will organise its activities in four stages:
- Analysis of existing EPC schemes, good practice, shortcomings, and priorities for improvement
- Development and testing of concrete proposals and tools for enhanced EPC assessment, certification and verification, as well as Deep Renovation Network Platforms
- Adaptation to country needs and implementation of consensus elements, as well as developing a roadmap for further dialogue, and
- Development of a sustainability strategy and conclusive policy recommendations for regional, national, and transnational dialogue, and transfer.