The EU agenda related to energy efficiency has been packed in 2015. The main aspect of ELO’s work and mainly our coalition1 was to focus on the revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD).
This Directive affects directly the life of owners and tenants. In the impact of this Directive, there is a clear distinction between offices, shopping centres, hotels and logistical properties owned and managed by property companies and everything else: offices, shops and housing owner-occupied or rented out by small proprietors. Through active discussions with EU institutions, the coalition tried to make sure that the EPBD has built-in safeguards to ensure that the s
cale of the energy efficiency renovation stays within the owner’s comfort zone: the renovation can be limited to part of the building and must be cost-optimal. We would like to convince decision-makers that the only way to further foster renovation is to incentivise the interested parties, but it is necessary to do so thoughtfully.
The nature of ownership requires special consideration by the Commission at the earliest stage of the legislative process. In particular, The ELO and coalition explained that it is important to learn from the difficulties encountered by implementation of the existing Directives to ensure that further legislation does not cause EU energy efficiency policy to be a source of public frustration and rejection of the European Union. Our concern was to address in the first phase of the legislative process when the Commission envisaged th
e consultant’s terms of engagement and during the IA exercise. The ELO contributed by reviewing certain challenges that we foresee concerning the review of the provisions on measures to ensure minimum energy perfor - mance requirements, scale of renovation, financial incentives, and certification and overlap with the Energy Efficiency Directive and Renewables Direc - tive. It is striking to see that Impact Assessments on EPBD, etc. have long passages on the positive impacts in terms of job creation and benefits for the construction sector and less on the real estate sector (owners, investors, and landlords). In our view, the Impact Assessment should also address the impact of the very unequal degree of energy efficiency development across the Union and the Energy performance certificates issues.
The temptation at EU is to expand energy efficiency to the sustainable buildings concept. Last year, the ELO replied to the EC consultation on this broader concept. In 2016, we will make sure to avoid any new regualtions that could underpin private built sector. This is linked to several own initiative re - ports that were adopted in the Parliament related to Resource efficiency and more recently on Energy Union.
Real estate related activities
The ELO together with its partners is involved in the European Semester work related to rent control regulation. A coalition paper on France was sent in June and followed by a meeting with Europe - an Commission DG ECFIN. It was the 2nd paper of this kind prepared by our united organisations, fol - lowing the previous one on the impact of Danish rent control. This paper provides an analysis of the French rental legislation, focusing mainly on the in - itial consequences and estimated expected impact of the French ALUR Act (Loi pour l’Accés au Logement et un Urbanisme Rénové) of March 2014 preceded by the 2012 “DUFLOT Decree”.
We are also following the activities of the U
RBAN Intergroup at the European Parliament which since 2004 ensures that urban and housing related issues are reflected in European Parliament’s discussions and we are member of the European Housing Fo - rum (EHF) an informal group of organisations in - volved in the housing sector.
1 Coalition of real estate organisations : European Historic Houses Association; European Landowners’ Organization; European Property Federation; International Union of Property Owners; The European Group of Valuers’ Associations