ASHRAE European Policy Update

16 February 2022
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 Parliament’s Environment Committee publishes draft opinion on the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive 
On 31 January, the European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) Committee published the draft opinion on the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Prepared by MEP Eleonora Evi (Greens, Italy), the document sets out binding national targets for energy savings obligations instead of leaving discretion to the Member States. 
Of interest to ASHRAE members, the draft opinion supports a more rapid shift towards an efficient and renewable energy-based district heating and cooling sector. In this respect, it defines efficient district heating and cooling systems as based only on renewable energy. Following the same logic, refurbished district heating and cooling are considered efficient only if they rely solely on renewable energy beyond 2035.
As for the next steps, MEPs in the Environment Committee will discuss the draft opinion on 3 March and vote on it on 28 April. Afterwards, the European Parliament’s Energy (ITRE) Committee may take into account the position of the ENVI Committee in its report, which will represent the Parliament\’s position during the negotiations with the Council of the EU.  
Horizon Europe’s project REPLACE publishes a report to make heating and cooling sustainable   
On 18 January 2022, the project REPLACE, funded under the Horizon Europe programme, published a report on challenges and solutions associated with switching to more sustainable options for heating and cooling. 
Regarding challenges, the report clearly identifies the conflict of interest between flat owners and tenants. To this end, incentives and fair cost-rollover models, also including heat or performance contracting models, as well as binding regulatory standards or obligations from state or local governments are seen as potential solutions. 
Moreover, the report finds some technical requirements represent barriers to the use of renewable energy, such as fire protection requirements, which do not always take into account the significant progress made in the field of technical solutions, especially when it comes to biomass boilers. 
In order to overcome those challenges, the project REPLACE proposed solutions in Austria, Germany, Spain, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and Serbia.  
European Parliament’s Environment Committee fights internally on the review of the EU ETS 
On 24 January, MEP Peter Liese (EPP, Germany) published the draft report on the revision of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) on behalf of the European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) Committee. As a reminder, the Commission’s proposal of July 2021 would extend the ETS to road transport and buildings. 
In the document, the MEP introduces a bonus-malus system based on the achieved performance of installations. Moreover, of interest to ASHRAE members, the draft report suggests including process heating in the scope of the ETS and bringing forward the related obligations for commercial operators.  On the other hand, MEP Liese proposes an opt-out for private buildings for a limited time under specific criteria in order to allow the Member States better prepare and use other instruments to achieve their national targets. 
However, the draft report is raising concerns within the ENVI Committee, where its chair, MEP Pascal Canfin (Renew, France) clearly opposes an ETS for heating fuels.  On the same line, many Member States are opposing the Commission’s proposal, except Germany, Austria, and the Nordic countries. 
Regarding the next steps, MEPs can table amendments to the draft report until 16 February, which will be then discussed as a final text with compromise amendments on 14 March and voted on 16 May.   
European Commission adopts complementary Delegated Act on gas and nuclear under EU Taxonomy 
On 2 February, the European Commission adopted a complementary Delegated Act under the EU Taxonomy framework setting our technical screening criteria for gas and nuclear operations that contribute substantially to climate adaptation and mitigation objectives. 
Of interest to ASHRAE members, the Act includes criteria for the construction and safe operation of new nuclear plants for the generation of heat, high-efficiency co-generation of heat and cool as well as production of heat and cool from fossil gaseous fuels inefficient district heating and cooling systems.
Following the adoption by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have from four to six months to object to the Act if an absolute majority or a reversed qualified majority is reached, respectively. Should none of the EU institutions succeed in objecting to the Act, it will enter into force when the scrutiny period will be over. Eventually, the Delegated Act will apply as of 1 January 2023.   
EU National Updates
 SunHorizon consortium’s heating and cooling technologies finalize commissioning of two demo sites in Spain 
The EU-funded SunHorizon Project is investigating new ways to maximize the solar potential for heating and cooling in buildings across Europe. To this end, the consortium’s heating and cooling technologies are being demonstrated in eight sites representing different climates in Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, and Latvia.
Regarding Spain, the project is currently finalizing the commissioning of two demo sites. In the first one, located at Sant Cugat del Vallès, 10 different rooms are monitored with carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, window, and occupancy sensors. The facility’s heating and cooling demands are met by a hybrid adsorption-compression chiller, high-vacuum solar thermal panels, storage tanks, and advanced monitoring and controls interface components. 
The second demo site is a former police station in Madrid converted to a social housing building with 10 flats. There, heat pumps combined with hybrid solar panels and stratified storage tanks are being installed to meet tenants’ needs for space heating and cooling, and hot water.
Overall, the SunHorizon (Sun coupled innovative Heat pumps) project’s interventions are expected to improve tenants’ quality of life by achieving a high degree of comfort with minimum energy consumption.  
United Kingdom Updates
 UK government announces major expansion of heat networks 
On 29 December, the UK government announced a £19 million government cash boost to supply low carbon heating for thousands of homes and buildings across the country. Specifically, the investment will set up 5 new heat networks: 2 in Bristol and 3 across Liverpool, London, and Worthing.  
Moreover, the government also appointed Ofgem as GB’s heat networks regulator to ensure a fair price and reliable supply of heat for consumers. Forming part of the government’s new Heat Networks Market Framework, Ofgem will also increase investor confidence in the market and play a key part in reducing the carbon footprint from heating homes and workspaces.
Therefore, the announcement demonstrates how the UK government is giving consumers, investors, and developers confidence in heat networks by implementing a market framework and putting capital investment into local projects to reduce bills, tackle fuel poverty, and support local regeneration. Ultimately, the announcement will help UK’s Prime Minister deliver on the 10 Point Plan.  
 TEMPO organizes final event on policies and solutions for efficient district heating 
 On 17 March 2022, the EU-funded TEMPO project will hold a one-day conference discussing policies and innovative solutions for efficient district heating together with ENTRAIN. 
In the afternoon, discussions will be centered around innovations for more efficient and optimized district heating networks.
The full agenda, list of speakers, and registration link will be available soon.  
 COOL DH organizes a conference on next generation of district heating 
On 18 and 19 May 2022, the EU-funded COOL DH project will hold a conference on the next generation of district heating.
The conference will include hybrid lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, key learnings, networking, and guided visits to the demo sites in Denmark and Sweden. 
Any interested stakeholder can register for the conference 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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