ASHRAE European Policy Update

Welcome to ASHRAE\’s European Policy Update! This monthly publication features information on policy activities of interest to ASHRAE members in Europe. Archives of previous updates are available from the ASHRAE European Policy Updates webpage.
EU Regulatory Updates
EU National Updates
United Kingdom Updates

EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The European Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, 1 for each Member State, and represents the interests of the EU as a whole. Every Commissioner is in charge of a Directorate-General (DG) that can be compared to a Ministry at national level. The European Commission proposes legislation in the form of Regulations and Directives and submits them to the Parliament and Council for discussion and adoption.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: The European Parliament is made up of 705 MEPs (see below) that are directly elected by EU citizens in 27 Member States.

MEP: Member of the European Parliament, a co-legislator within the EU that is made up of representatives from political parties throughout Member States. 

COUNCIL OF THE EU: Co-legislator, made up of representatives from Member State Governments. Has a six-month rotating presidency, currently held by Romania until the end of June 2019.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL: The European Council is made up of the leaders of the EU member states, commonly known as EU27. It defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities but does not pass laws.

REGULATION: EU legislative act that is binding in its entirety and is to be applied in its entirety across the EU by all EU Member States.

DIRECTIVE: EU legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU Member States must achieve. However, it is up to the EU Member States to adopt their own laws on how to achieve the EU goals enshrined in the Directive.

HORIZON EUROPE: is the next EU Research and Innovation programme for the period of 2021-2027. The amount of the funding (which will be higher than Horizon 2020) is currently being discussed between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission.  
INVESTEU: The InvestEU Programme builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. It will bring together, under one roof, the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 EU financial instruments currently available.  Triggering at least €650 billion in additional investment, the Programme aims to give an additional boost to investment, innovation and job creation in Europe.

EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL: is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. The plan is to review each existing EU law on its climate merits, and also introduce new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation.
FIT-FOR-55-PACKAGE: In the European Commission work programme for 2021, the revisions and initiatives linked to the European Green Deal climate actions and in particular the climate target plan\’s 55 % net reduction target are presented under the Fit for 55 package.

REHVA: is the association of European heating, ventilation and air-conditioning associations, based in Brussels. 

You can find all relevant EU building policy related information in this useful document.

BILL: A bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to significantly change an existing law. A bill may start in either the Commons or the Lords and must pass a series of stages in each Houses. Once the bill has been agreed by both Houses, it receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament.

HOUSE OF COMMONS: the House of Commons is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords (see below), it meets in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.

HOUSE OF LORDS: The House of Lords scrutinises bills that have been approved by the House of Commons. It regularly reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions.
EU Regulatory Updates
Upcoming Revision of EU Emissions Trading Scheme to Include Separate System Buildings
The European Commission is currently in the process of drafting a new proposal on the revision of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which has now been confirmed to be released on 14 July. In that regard, and as reported previously, the Commission will most probably include the buildings sector in the ETS.
According to the latest information, the Commission is said to create a separate system, similar to an existing system that is already in place in Germany. Once fully in force it would function like the normal ETS. At this point, exact details about when and how auctions for permits to emit carbon will be conducted are not yet known.

The new trading system for buildings and road transport is allegedly going to apply from 2025.

At this point, the biggest unknown about the new system is what carbon price it will impose. The German example, the only such national system in the EU, provides some clues with a carbon price dictated for the first five years. Adopted in 2019, the system only started in 2021 and will set a gradually rising price until allowances are auctioned from 2026.

The extension of the ETS to road transport and buildings is controversial, with some Member States warning about the social impact of a potential rise in heating and transport fuels that is expected to hit the poor disproportionately. Pascal Canfin, a French MEP who chairs the European Parliament’s environment committee has also warned the Commission against including those sectors, arguing it carries huge political risk and does not bring much in terms of emissions reduction.

All details of the revision of the ETS will be known following to 14 July, when the Commission releases its much-awaited \’Fit-for-55\’ package.
Irish MEP to Draft Parliament’s Position on EPBD Implementation
MEP Seán Kelly (centre-right, Ireland) has been appointed by the Industry & Energy committee of the European Parliament to draft a Parliamentary report on the status of implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive across Member States. 
This report will represent the Parliament’s 
position and will be addressed to the Commission in the run-up to the Commission’s legislative proposal on the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in November-December 2021. 
Of interest to ASHRAE members, is that Mr. Kelly is in favour of decarbonizing heating, and stated: \”In Ireland buildings account for 36% of our greenhouse gas emissions, where around half of our residential heat comes from old and polluting individual oil-fired boilers. Buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption in the EU. Renovations will be crucial to unlock the energy efficiency potential of our buildings and homes.\”

Mr. Kelly is likely to start with the report drafting from end of August onwards, and we shall closely monitor the outcome of his recommendations.
Leaked Renewable Energy Directive: Focus on Decarbonization Heating & Cooling
In a leaked version of the legislative proposal for a Renewable Energy Directive, the Commission has put forward a target of 38-40% renewable energy sources as part of the energy mix by 2030, based on 1990 levels. 

Of relevance to ASHRAE members is that in addition to this high-level target: 
A new article will be inserted on mainstreaming renewable energy and enabling measures to mainstream heating & cooling in buildings. The new provision includes a new indicative share of renewables in buildings by 2030 of a to be defined % and a reference to the new definition of \”efficient district heating and cooling\” that will be added to the to be reviewed Energy Efficiency Directive, which is a way the minimum level of renewable energy sources in new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation can be satisfied.
Also, the Commission adjusted paragraphs on the qualification and certification requirements of installers to deal with the fact that there is a shortage of installers of renewable heating systems, which is a brake on phasing out fossil fuel systems. It also deletes list of specific types of renewable heating technologies and replaces it by a generic reference to renewable energy source-based heating systems.
While this information still needs to be confirmed, we expect close to no changes to the official text to be put forward as part of the \”Fit for 55\” package mid-July. 
EU National Updates
Spanish Government to Allow Tenants to Receive Aid for Housing Rehabilitation
On 22 June, the Spanish government said it has plans to let renters benefit from the €6.8 billion it has set aside for the massive residential renovation scheme it intends to fund with EU recovery funds. 
Initially, in the program’s first version, 
building owners were allowed to access renovation subsidies and tax benefits. A new draft would enable tenants to receive up to €5,000 and score sizeable personal income tax deductions if they are the ones paying for the energy efficiency improvements. 
Spain is focusing on increasing the renovation rate of its buildings stock as part of its push toward 2050 climate neutrality with the government willing to have 510,000 properties renovated by 2026, and up to 300,000 additional buildings renovated annually from 2030 onward.

Furthermore, on 22 June, the Spanish government also approved a royal decree extending its scheme to underwrite industrial energy efficiency measures. The €357 million program aims to mobilize €772 million in investments to make Spain’s industrial sector more efficient. The sector currently accounts for 25% of the country’s total energy consumption.

United Kingdom Updates
UK Minister Welcomes One of the UK’s Largest Heating and Cooling Systems
Power supplier E.ON has started work on a £4m project to install one of the UK’s largest zero carbon heating and cooling systems beneath the streets of London.
The heat pump being installed at E.ON’s Citigen energy centre in the heart of London’s 
square mile will draw from the natural warmth of the earth as well as recycling waste heat from power generation.
The project will provide 4MW of extra heating capacity and a further 2.8MW of new cooling capacity to customers across the financial district. The new technology adds to Citigen’s existing combined heat and power engines which already produce enough electricity and heating for the equivalent of more than 11,000 homes.

The new heat pump and borehole solution is expected to cut the carbon emissions associated with heating and cooling by up to 50% and will help to improve local air quality by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. The project forms part of the city’s wider efforts to meet net zero targets and contributes to London’s climate emergency plans.

In response to this announcement, the UK Energy minister, Lord Callanan, said that: \”Heating in buildings forms a significant part of the UK’s carbon footprint, so changing how we warm and cool our homes and workspaces is a vital part of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050.\”
European Commission Organizes 10-day Horizon Europe Info Days
From 28 June until 16 July, the European Commission is organizing a 10-day event of Horizon Europe Info Days which will give prospective applicants and other stakeholders of EU research and innovation the opportunity to get information and ask questions about the main funding instruments, processes of Horizon Europe and what is new.
The Horizon Europe Info Days will address 10 themes, each featuring a programme of exclusive discussions and hands-on sessions dedicated to a different cluster or part of the new programme.
 The info day on the \’Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy & Mobility\’ happened on 5 July already, and specifically talked about \’Highly energy-efficient and climate neutral EU building stock, and Industrial facilities in the energy transition.\’
You can contact the Research Enquiry Service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU\’s research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.
For additional information on European policy issues, please contact

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