Disparity nZEB standards undermines EU climate goals

A new review of national nZEB (nearly zero-energy buildings) standards, released today by BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe), finds a wide degree of disparity in how these are implemented across the EU-27, highlighting a misalignment with EU climate targets.

Since the beginning of 2021, all new buildings constructed in the EU must be nZEBs, yet there is considerable disparity in definitions and metrics used to determine national nZEBs. There is also wide variation in Member States’ calculation methodologies, required levels of energy performance to achieve nZEB status, and the extent to which residual energy requirements need to be covered by renewable energy.

BPIE advises that the re-opening of the legislative file provides an important opportunity for the European Commission to ensure that the methodology used to set nZEB requirements is updated and strengthened across Member States, and to introduce a new standard requiring all new buildings constructed to be positive energy/net-zero carbon over their lifecycle.

“Strengthened national nZEB standards and rigorous implementation are a key ingredient to achieving Europe’s wider climate goals for 2030 and 2050, as well as increased comfort and well-being for occupants and long-term security for investors,” said Oliver Rapf, executive director of BPIE.

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