Greece taken to court over energy performance


November 19, 2015


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November 19, 2015


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The European Commission said it has decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the government’s failure to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, as the only member state that did not perform the cost-optimal calculations and did not send a report.

According to the directive, minimum energy performance requirements need to be set for buildings, with a view to achieving the best combination between investments and savings, also known as cost-optimal levels. Calculating it is key for member states to fully exploit the energy efficiency and renewable energy potential of the national buildings stock, the statement said and added this prevents citizens from spending more money than necessary on efficiency improvements to their housing and offices. The lack of such calculations would also affect the ability of individual owners and tenants to take the right decisions for new constructions or renovations, the European Commission said.

Following a number of informal exchanges, Greece was officially reminded of its obligation to perform the necessary calculations and to submit a report to the commission on July 11, 2014, the press release adds. Furthermore, the country received a reasoned opinion on November 27 of the same year.

The buildings directive and its delegated regulation and guidance document establish a benchmarking mechanism to calculate the cost-optimal level of energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings, both residential and non-residential, acording to the statement. This benchmarking mechanism is established by a framework methodology that allows the comparison of energy efficiency measures, measures incorporating renewable energy sources and different combination of these measures (in packages and variants), based on primary energy performance (in kilowatt hours per square meter) and costs (sum of investment costs in energy measures, maintenance and operating costs, energy costs, earnings from energy produced), taking into account an estimated building lifetime (30 years for residential buildings).

The use of the comparative cost-optimal framework methodology aims to ensure that member states have similar levels of ambition for establishing minimum performance requirements for new and existing buildings, and building elements and keeping performance under review by taking into account market and technical developments. Furthermore, it allows defining building and building element efficiency levels which are cost-efficient for investors, promoters and home owners.

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