Much of the EU’s Energy Performance Buildings Directive is going unenforced, argues Andrew Warren. It is now 18 years since I was invited by the business directorate (DG Enterprise) of the European Commission (EC) to chair an inquiry into “Sustainable Construction and Energy Efficiency”. My (rather large) committee consisted of national civil servants, professionals from the construction sector, and EC officials. We published our unanimous recommendations in 2001. And effectively these became the core of a new Energy Performance of Buildings directive. This was a law agreed by the national governments and the European Parliament within a breathtaking 11 months. The text was “strengthened” in 2010. Last year, as agreed under its Article 19, the directive was formally reviewed again by the EC with national governments. We in the UK are lamentably failing to implement even the existing directive that we long since signed up to. Article 27 requires our government to introduce “effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties” for non-compliance with the directive. These don’t exist. Instead, failure to implement the EPBD purposefully means that all of us are paying the penalty of excess fuel bills, as we continue to occupy unnecessarily wasteful buildings.
Business Green 31st July 2017 read more »