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Energy efficiency of buildings proposal discussed in Council

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The Council Working Party on Energy met earlier this month to examine the proposal to amend Directive 2002/91/EC on energy performance of buildings. A major issue remains the establishment of a deadline by which all new buildings would have to produce more renewable energy on-site than they consume (“zero-energy buildings”). It is likely that any deadline will be set at some time after 2019. Parliament’s rapporteur on this issue, Silvia-Adriana Þicãu (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Romania), insisted at an informal trialogue meeting earlier this month that the revised Directive should also include new financial incentives to drive energy efficiency investments. Member States have so far refused to agree to binding requirements on financing, arguing buildings legislation should not involve funding and tax incentives.

The Swedish presidency hopes to achieve a political agreement before the Energy Council in December.