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

EU Regulatory Updates
European Commission adopts Delegated Act on the calculation of renewable energy used for cooling and district cooling 
On 14 December, the European Commission adopted a Delegated Act under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) laying out the methodology for the calculation of renewable energy used for cooling and district cooling. Until 14 March 2022, the Act is subject to the scrutiny period of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. If none of the EU institutions object, the Act will formally enter into force and apply after 20 days following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

European Commission’s proposal for revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires Member States to develop roadmaps to decarbonize heating and cooling by 2040  
On 15 December, the European Commission published the proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). 
Overall, the Commission proposes that all buildings built from 2030 be zero-emission, designed to consume very little energy and largely powered by renewables. Of relevance to ASHRAE members, the revised Directive requires the EU Member States to develop roadmaps for phasing out fossil fuels in heating and cooling by 2040 at the latest, and for the conversion of all buildings to be zero-emission by 2050. 
Moreover, the revised text of the Directive aims to extend minimum energy performance standards to the EU’s building stock and requires the worst-performing 15% to be renovated by 2030. Additionally, the Commission’s proposal wants to harmonize energy performance certificates and introduce “renovation passports” to track each building’s progress toward zero-emission status.
On top of that, the proposal requires Member States to ensure that the energy performance of the most inefficient public and non-residential buildings will be upgraded from class G to class F by 2027 and that residential buildings make the same shift by 2030. 
As for the next steps, the Commission’s proposal will now be discussed in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, with a view to being adopted by co-legislators by June 2023. 

EU environment ministers discuss the Emissions Trading System’s revision 
On 20 December, EU environment ministers met to discuss the European Commission’s proposal to revise the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), among other items on the agenda.  During those discussions, ministers from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden expressed their support to expand carbon pricing to heating. On the other hand, the Netherlands seemed more cautious and Belgium did not express a clear position on the Commission’s proposal. For their part, the remaining EU Member States did not fully support the abovementioned extension, with reactions ranging from mere skepticism to opposition. During his remarks, Commissioner for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, stated that the European Commission will support the negotiations among Member States, intensify the discussions on the subject and help the Council form its position on the whole Fit for 55 package by June 2022.  Elsewhere, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee is still preparing its report on the proposal. As for next step, an agreement on the legislative file is expected around the end of 2022.

College of Commissioners agenda for 2022 
As previously reported, based on the latest available version of the agenda of the College of Commissioners for 2022 dated 21 December, 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 the F-Gas Regulation.The agenda is now an official draft, published on the Commission’s website. Nevertheless, it might be still subject to change due to delays in the Commission’s workflow.

European Commission publishes Guidelines on State Aid for Climate, Environmental Protection, and Energy  
On 21 December, the European Commission adopted the revised Guidelines on State Aid for Climate, Environmental protection, and Energy (CEEAG). As a reminder, the Guidelines set out the conditions under which State aid granted by the Member States may be considered compatible with the Single Market and the criteria for the Commission to assess support by the Member States in the concerned areas.
The review was meant to align the existing Guidelines on State aid with the EU Green Deal objectives as well as the Fit-For-55 Package. Of interest to ASHRAE members, aid measures covered by the Guidelines include support for renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as improvement of energy and environmental performance of buildings, including measures improving the performance of heating and cooling equipment.
The revised Guidelines entered into force and are applicable as of January 2022. Member States will be required to align existing schemes to the new rules by 2024. 

France takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU and sets out priorities 
As of 1 January and until the end of June 2022, France holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
As part of its program, the new Presidency aims to make further progress on discussions around the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), and the 
Renewable Energy Directive (RED III). Moreover, France aims to start negotiations among the EU Member States on the upcoming Commission’s proposal to revise the Ecodesign Directive and the F-Gas Regulation.

EU National Updates
 Spain met EU targets for renewables and energy efficiency in 2020 
On 27 December, the Spanish government announced the country achieved the 2020 EU target to cover at least 20% of final energy demand with renewables and achieve the same level when it comes to energy efficiency.  Specifically, electricity generation accounted for the largest share of renewable energy sources\’ final consumption, followed by heating and cooling generation.  
United Kingdom Updates
 UK Parliament adopts amendments to the Building Regulations 
On 15 December, the UK Parliament adopted amendments to the 2010 Buildings Regulation.
Of interest to ASHRAE members, the amendments provide for a new metric for the measurement of energy efficiency and introduce new provisions for on-site electricity generation and overheating.
To provide a coherent regulatory framework, on that same day, the UK government updated the following documents:Guidelines on ventilation requirements for indoor air quality;Guidelines on overheating;Guidelines on conservation of fuel and power.The amendments to the Buildings Regulation will enter into force on 15 June 2022. 

EU-ASE organize an event on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 
 EU-ASE organize an event on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
On 28 January, the European Alliance to Save Energy, EU-ASE, will debate on the recently published proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. 
With energy efficiency and decarbonization of buildings at its core, panelists will also debate around what the European Commission needs to push forward to trigger an effective renovation wave.
The agenda of the workshop and a list of speakers are available here. Any interested stakeholder can register for the event here.    
 CINEA organize Horizon Europe 2022 Info Days for Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy & Mobility 
 On 3 February, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) will hold Horizon Europe 2022 Info Days for Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy & Mobility.
As a reminder, Horizon Europe is the R&I programme financed through the EU multiannual project. Specifically, Cluster 5 focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings, among other topics. Indeed, the third session of the workshop will have highly energy-efficient and climate-neutral EU building stock as its central theme. 
The event is meant to inform stakeholders on the calls for proposals currently opened under Horizon Europe, provide advice on how to draft a good proposal, and offer networking opportunities to prospective applicants.
The full programme of the workshop is 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.  
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