Member states should take more responsibility for meeting the targets of the EU buildings directive

Aneta Zachová writes on the EURACTIV website about the views of energy-saving construction expert Petr Holub that the onus for meeting targets from the EPBD should be on member states and not individual owners. Do you have any views on this?


Czech expert: EU Building Directive targets should be met by states, not owners

Member states not building owners must be responsible for meeting objectives of the directive on the mandatory renovation of old and energy-intensive buildings, the director of Budovy21 and energy-saving construction expert Petr Holub said as EU Parliament backing the directive in mid-March caused quite a stir in Czechia.

In mid-March, MEPs agreed that all residential buildings – including old ones – should achieve at least an energy performance class E by the end of 2030 and class D by 2033.

But politicians from Czechia’s ruling conservative party ODS strongly condemned the directive, objecting mainly to the fact that it introduces various obligations.

Opposition members from the ANO party were also critical. Former Environment Minister Richard Brabec said owners of older and uninsulated houses will have to “invest hundreds of thousands (of Czech crowns)” by 2030.

According to Holub, the directive has the wrong focus as the actions and penalties target homeowners when they should primarily focus on member states.

“Member states must focus on the worst performing buildings and ensure they are renovated. It must ensure this, for example, by offering advice to owners, low-cost loans and so on,” the expert explained. “Renovating buildings and targeting the worst ones certainly makes sense,” said Holub.

According to him, the wording chosen by the European Parliament is unfortunate.

Article 9, for instance, gives the impression that the obligation to renovate falls directly on building owners, while this is a task for the member states, as they must implement the directive in their national legislation. The key is to create the conditions that will encourage renovation.

Parliament’s position will now “compete” with that of the Council, though, according to Holub, member states have a fundamentally different idea of what they want to push through.

National governments are not as ambitious about deadlines and do not want a mandatory change in energy standards for every single energy-wasteful building.

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