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
United Kingdom Updates

EU Regulatory Updates
 European Parliament’s Energy Committee publishes draft report on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive 
On 14 February, the European Parliament’s Energy (ITRE) Committee published the draft report on the European Commission’s proposal to revise the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III). 
Regarding renewable energy targets, MEP Markus Pieper (EPP, Germany) proposes only new buildings to achieve minimum levels of renewable energy. Moreover, he recommends taking into account the use of green district heating and the integration of renewable gases in the existing gas network. 
As for the next steps, MEPs in the ITRE Committee can table their amendments to the draft report until 15 March. The Committee will then adopt the report on 13 July. After the plenary vote due in September, the report will represent the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal during negotiations with the Member States.  

Liberal MEPs split over EU carbon price on heating fuels 
On 1 March, the European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) Committee published MEPs amendments to the draft report on the Commission’s proposal on the revision of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). In this regard, amendments tabled by liberal MEPs demonstrate an internal division within the political group. 
As a reminder, in July 2021, the Commission proposed to extend the EU ETS to heating fuels. 
According to the tabled amendments, liberal MEPs Pascal Canfin (Renew, France) and Nils Torvalds (Renew, Finland) suggest applying the new carbon price to commercial buildings only from 2024. Furthermore, they propose the introduction of a review clause allowing the Commission to assess in 2027 whether the ETS scope needs to be extended. 
However, some other liberal MEPs decided not to table amendments specifically on the extension of the carbon price on commercial buildings as she supports the Commission proposal. 
As for the next steps, the ENVI Committee will adopt the final report on the legislative proposal on 16 May, with a plenary vote expected in June. The final report will then represent the European Parliament’s position on the file during negotiations with the Member States. 

European Commission launches call for evidence on energy labelling and ecodesign requirements for combination and water heaters 
On 3 March, the European Commission launched the following calls for evidence on: Energy labelling requirements for space and combination heaters;Ecodesign requirements for space and combination heaters;Energy labelling requirements on water heaters and tanks;Ecodesign requirements for water heaters and tanks.Any interested stakeholders can submit contributions until 31 March 2022. As for next steps, the Commission aims to adopt the related legislation in Q3 2022. 

European Commission launches call for evidence on energy labelling and ecodesign requirements for combination and water heaters 
According to the leaked version of the review of the F-Gas Regulation, the European Commission has changed its approach on the file by prohibiting certain equipment to be placed on the market and granting exemptions only when the Member States demonstrate a lack of f-gases-free alternatives on the market. 
Of interest to ASHRAE members, Annex IV sets out the prohibition timelines for different groups of equipment, including domestic and commercial refrigerators and freezers as well as any refrigeration equipment, stationary refrigeration, multipack centralized refrigeration systems for commercial use, plug-in room air-conditioning, and stationary split air-conditioning.
Notwithstanding the above, the leaked version is still subject to changes until its official publication, which is due on 5 April. The Commission’s proposal will then be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, with an agreement expected by end of 2023. 

European Commission publishes Communication to tackle rising energy prices and avoid reliance on Russian gas 
On 8 March, the European Commission published a Communication to tackle rising energy prices and avoid further reliance on Russian gas, building on the Communication published in October 2021.
 Overall, the Commission aims to phase out EU’s energy dependence on fossil fuels from Russia by diversifying gas supplies via LNG and pipeline imports from non-Russian suppliers as well as boosting energy efficiency gains, increasing the share of renewables, and addressing infrastructure bottlenecks. 
Of interest to ASHRAE members, the Commission recommends the Member States to speed up the rollout of heath pumps and double biomethane production up to 35bcm per year by 2030.
Elsewhere, on 3 March, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a 10-point plan to help the EU reduce its reliance on Russian gas. Noteworthily, the IEA recommends the EU not to sign new gas supply contracts with Russia, replace Russian supplies with alternative gas sources, speed up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps and accelerate energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry. 

The upcoming Sustainable Products Initiative will require digital products passports to disclose information on recyclability, reusability, and repairability 
According to the leaked version of the upcoming Sustainable Products Initiative, the European Commission will propose a Regulation instead of a Directive, thereby making the measures therein directly applicable in the Member States once adopted.
Moreover, the proposal will revise the Ecodesign Directive and expand its scope beyond energy-related products, with the aim to cover also chemicals present in products. Furthermore, the Commission will establish under-product groups-specific legislation requirements on reusability, repairability, recycled content, resource efficiency, and expected generation of waste, which will be made available to consumers through a digital product passport. 
As for the next steps, the European Commission is set to adopt the abovementioned proposal on 30 March. On that same day, the Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market (DG GROW) will publish the 4-year work plan for product-related ecodesign requirements for window products, swimming pool heaters, air curtains, and greenhouse cover materials.

United Kingdom Updates
 UK government to launch applications on lower-carbon approaches to district heating and cooling  
On 14 March, the UK government will open applications under the Green Heat Network Fund to support work to commercialize and construct lower-carbon systems for district heating and cooling. 
As a reminder, the fund provides grant support to incentivize new lower carbon heat networks as well as retrofitting and expanding existing systems. 
As for the next steps, the call for applications will close on 27 May 2022. 

 Euractiv organizes event on cost-effective decarbonization of district heating systems 
On 16 March, Polish energy company PGE will organize host an event on ‘Efficient district heating systems: how to achieve cost-effective decarbonization?’.  The recast proposal of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) will be at the centre of the debate, with the 
 European Parliament’s Environment Committee’s rapporteur on the proposal, MEP Eleonora Evi (Greens, Italy), and the European Commission’s Director for Energy Efficiency in the Energy Department, Paula Pinho, as panellists, among others. Moreover, the event will debate the new definition of efficient district heating systems in the EED proposal and how stakeholders can cooperate to achieve cost-effective decarbonization.
The list of speakers and registration link is available here.

Euroheat hosts district heating and cooling Assembly 
On 18 March, Euroheat will host the District Heating and Cooling (DHC+) Assembly in a physical meeting in Brussels. 
During the conference, participants will debate about funding opportunities and exchange views on the digitalization of district heating and cooling networks. 
Any interested stakeholder can register to the Assembly by 14 March through this link

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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