To reduce the energy consumed in European buildings and meet Kyoto Protocol commitments, the EU Climate Change Program established the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD). European nations had until January 4, 2006 to apply the directive to domestic building codes.
The goal of the directive is to tighten energy requirements for new constructions, in many cases by 20 percent to 30 percent. Originally approved in 2002, this Directive is now being replaced and implemented by a recast Directive that was approved May 19, 2010.
The four key points of the Directive are:
- A common methodology for calculating the integrated energy performance of buildings.
- Minimum standards on the energy performance of new buildings and existing buildings that are subject to major renovation.
- Systems for the energy certification of new and existing buildings. Public buildings, prominently display this certification and other relevant information. Certificates must be less than five years old.
- Regular inspection of boilers and central air-conditioning systems in buildings. In addition, an assessment must be completed for heating installations in which the boilers are more than 15 years old.
The directive has a number of energy reduction objectives that apply to air conditioning systems and boilers. Recommendations include displaying officially recommended indoor temperatures, developing strategies to enhance the thermal performance of buildings during the summer period to reduce peak loads, regular maintenance of these systems by qualified personnel, and billing building occupants for their actual consumption of air conditioning as a strategy to reduce use.