|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
|EU Regulatory Updates
|College of Commissioners agenda for 2022
|Based on a draft version of the agenda of the College of Commissioners for 2022, the following legislative proposals will be adopted of relevance to ASHRAE’s members:On 30 March 2022, the revision of the Ecodesign Directive;On 13 April 2022, the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive and of the F-Gas Regulation;The agenda is an unofficial draft, that has not been published on the Commission’s website, nor approved by the Commission yet. Therefore, it is subject to change, pending Commission’s approval and publication.
|European Environment Agency publishes briefing onF-Gases
On 2 December, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published the 2021 briefing on fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gases). The report outlines trends in F-gases supply for 2007-2020 and monitors progress under the hydrofluorocarbon phase-down schemes of the F-gas Regulation and the Montreal Protocol.
|According to the report, in 2020, the total supply for F-gases to the EU increased slightly after a decrease from 2015 to 2019. Of relevance to ASHRAE members, refrigeration and air conditioning are still key applications. Nonetheless, 2020 EU consumption of HFCs was 52% below the maximum imposed by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
Regarding the phase-down scheme\’s implementation, the briefing finds that the EU is on track under the scheme of the EU F-Gas Regulation. Indeed, in 2020, EU-wide placing on the market of HFCs was 4% below the market limit. Lastly, the report states that the reserve of quota authorizations eligible to cover imports of refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump equipment under the HFC phase-down continues to grow.
Of interest to ASHRAE members is that the EEA briefing on F-Gases will most likely feed into the Commission review of the F-Gas Regulation, expected for publication in April 2022. More specifically, the review will bring the Regulation in line with the Green Deal objectives, address recent international obligations on HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and take into account lessons learnt from the past application of the EU legislation.
|Leaked review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires countries to submit renovation roadmaps
|According to the leaked text revising the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the European Commission will propose that EU members must come up with action plans to decarbonize existing building stock by 2050. Therefore, countries will have to prepare detailed action plans every five years to report their actions to phase out fossil fuels from their heating and cooling systems.
Moreover, buildings will be inspected and have energy certificates showing how much they consume as well as passports to track renovations and upgrades. Indeed, as stated by Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, on 17 November in an answer to a parliamentary question tabled by MEP Elena Lizzi (far-right, Italy), the revision of the EPBD will increase the quality and availability of energy performance certificates. In addition, the Commission is still considering whether or not to seek greater harmonization of the existing national schemes. Nonetheless, the leaked text suggests that there will be minimum energy performance standards, and events triggering renovations such as a tenant moving out.
Differently, the leaked proposal does not include requirements to upgrade an energy-demanding apartment if a tenant is still in it. This would likely be a point of contention once the file is presented in Parliament. Indeed, MEP Ciarán Cuffe (Greens/EFA, Ireland) stated it seems to be a step in the right direction, but the language could be strengthened to ensure new buildings achieve a zero-emission standard.
Elsewhere, on 7 December, Paula Pinho, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER), stated the energy labelling rules in the upcoming proposal will reflect the evolution of available technologies.
As a reminder, the Commission is due to present the revised Directive on 14 December.
|Council of the EU discloses progress on Fit-for-55 package
|On 22 November, the Council of the EU published the progress report on ongoing discussions on the Fit-for-55 package. Overall, work on most files is still at a rather early stage and discussions have not progressed at the same pace on all legislative proposals.
Later, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council released progress reports on almost all the legislative proposals under the Fit for 55 package.
Of interest to ASHRAE members:With respect to the Emission Trading System (EU ETS), the extension of the allowances scheme to buildings raised significant concerns among the Member States for its impact on lower-income households and the risk of increasing energy poverty.As for the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), Member States so far stressed the need to take into account national specificities. Indeed, they call for flexibility to implement the most cost-efficient policy measures and reach the desired objectives. Beyond that, the new 2030 target, energy-saving obligations, energy efficiency first principle, energy management systems, and audits, as well as heating and cooling are the main issues still to be agreed on.Regarding the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), Member States underlined the importance to respect technological neutrality and fair transition principles. In addition, the new 2030 target, renewables in buildings, industry, heating, and cooling, as well as provisions related to guarantees of origin, system integration of renewable electricity, and district heating and cooling are the points that need further discussion.The above-mentioned reports were discussed by EU energy ministers on 2 December 2021. In that context, Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, stressed that the new provisions in the EED are designed to increase the synergies with other legislative acts, such as the EPBD.
|EU National Updates
|Romania receives pre-payments following approval of its national recovery plan
|On 2 December, the European Commission disbursed €1.8 billion to Romania as a prepayment under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, equivalent to 13% of €29.2 billion in total assistance that Bucharest has requested.
Of interest to ASHRAE members, the plan foresees the establishment of a Renovation Wave Fund with €2.2 billion at its disposal with the aim of renovating at least 4 million meters squares of multi-family building and at least 2.5 million meters squares of public buildings to reach a medium-depth level renovation in accordance with the Commission’s Recommendation on Building Renovation.
|United Kingdom Updates
|UK Cabinet Office releases guide to cut emissions of government buildings
|On 23 November, the UK Cabinet Office published guidance to reduce emissions of government buildings. The guidance will ensure the application of consistent approaches across public buildings, such as using solar panels, LED lighting, and greener building materials.
|EnergyVille launch event on Smart Readiness Indicator Platform
| On 16 December, EnergyVille will host the launch event of the Smart Readiness Indicator Platform.
The event will explain the links between the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Smart Readiness Indicator and provide a summary of the state of play of some testing programmes. Afterwards, there will be the launch of the SRI platform.
More information on the event and registration forms are available here.
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 Slovenia until the end of December 2021.
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.
|For additional information on European policy issues, please contact Brusselsoffice@ashrae.org.