ASHRAE European Policy Update

Welcome to ASHRAE\’s European Policy Update! This monthly publication features information on policy and funding-related 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

EU Regulatory Updates
Delegated regulation on energy efficiencylabelling – call for feedback
Between 12 July and 9 August, the European Commission held a call for feedback on a draft Delegated Regulation amending existing energy efficiency labelling rules for air conditioners and refrigerating appliances, including those used in retail, among others. As a reminder, EU’s energy efficiency labelling rules help consumers choose the most energy-efficient products while contributing to the 2050 carbon-neutrality objective.Specifically, the draft act corrects several errors present in currently applicable Delegated Regulations establishing energy labelling provisions for the already mentioned devices, including the definition of hourly energy consumption and the unit of the energy consumption of double duct air conditioners, among others.Following the public consultation on the draft act, the European Commission is set to adopt the Delegated Regulation, which will be subject to a four-months long scrutiny period. If neither the European Parliament nor the Council of the EU objects to the Delegated Regulation, it will enter into force on the fourth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

EU actions to ensure energy security inthe context of the Ukrainian war 
Following the outbreak of the Ukrainian war and the consequent need to ensure EU’s energy security, on 9 August, the Council Regulation on voluntary measures to reduce gas consumption entered into force. The publication followed the political agreement reached by Energy Ministers on 26 July on the European Commission’s proposal presented on 20 July.Overall, the Regulation aims to prepare EU’s energy system for possible disruptions of gas supplies from Russia ahead of the winter season. Specifically, it requires Member States to set out voluntary measures in order to reduce gas demand between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023 by at least 15% compared to their average gas consumption between 1 August and 31 March in the previous 5 years. Eventually, such measures could become compulsory should an EU alert be issued because of a substantial risk of a gas supply shortage. Nonetheless, Member States measures could exclude customers on the basis of transparent criteria, such as their impact on critical supply chains, possible spillover effects on critical downstream supply chains, long-lasting damage to industrial installations, and possibilities to reduce consumption as well as substitute products.Moreover, on 20 July, the European Commission published the proposal for the Council Regulation together with a Communication on “Save gas for a safe winter”. Of interest for ASHRAE members, it suggests that demand reduction should be envisaged in the areas of heating and cooling of buildings by deploying alternative sources for district heating, such as heat pumps and smart energy management systems in households, and by mandating reduced use of heating and cooling appliances.As for the next steps, the Council Regulation will apply for one year and, by May 2023, the Commission will carry out a review to consider its prologued application in light of the general EU gas supply situation. For their part, Member States will update their national emergency plans setting out the demand reduction measures they are planning, and will regularly report to the Commission on the achieved progress.

Report on potential impact of an EU ban on sales of fossil boilers for heating decarbonization
On 18 July, environmental group CoolProducts, in collaboration with green NGOs, namely the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), published a report which investigates the impact of a potential EU ban on the sale of fossil boilers against the existing targets for heating decarbonization and energy dependency of Member States.Such potential ban on fossil boilers would encompass gas, oil and coal boilers and assumes that all newly installed heating systems are fully renewable. As per the methodology used in the report, the impact of the potential ban on import dependency is assessed against the consumption of gas and oil for heating and comparing the resulting energy savings in the year 2030 to current import levels.Eventually, the study shows that banning fossil boilers can significantly contribute to meeting the EU energy and climate targets while reducing fossil fuel import dependency. Further to that, the report suggests that if a ban is to be implemented as of January 2025, gas imports would reduce by 8% (of which 21% are Russian imports) and the measure alone would make up for 10% of the GHG emissions reduction target at EU level.

Energy Efficiency Directive and Renewable EnergyDirective update
On 13 July, the European Parliament’s Industry and Energy (ITRE) Committee adopted the report on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) as well as the report on the recast Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).As per RED III, MEPs agreed to raise the share of renewables in EU’s energy mix by 45% by 2030, a target also backed by the European Commission under the REPower EU plan but not supported by Member States in political agreement on the Commission’s proposal. In order to promote the use of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector, the report states that each Member State shall increase the share of renewable energy in the sector by an indicative 2.3% as an annual average calculated for the periods 2021 to 2025 and 2026 to 2030, compared to 2020 levels. To achieve such increase, Member States are encouraged to implement at least three of the suggested measures in the document, which include the installation of highly efficient renewable heating and cooling systems in buildings, connection of buildings to high efficiency district heating and cooling system and promotion of renewable heat purchase agreements for corporate and collective small consumers.Regarding the EED, MEPs raised the EU target for reducing final and primary energy consumption up to 40% and 42.5%, respectively, compared to 2007 levels by 2030. Moreover, the report provides that Member States should set binding national contributions to achieve these targets, which concerns various sectors, including buildings. Notably, the recovery and reuse of waste heat for district heating is identified as an important measure to promote energy efficiency, and Member States are consequently encouraged to ensure that data centers utilizes waste heat and waste heat recovery applications to meet demand. As for the next steps, both reports will be subject to the European Parliament’s plenary vote on 12-13 September. Afterwards, interinstitutional negotiations (trilogues) among the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission will start, with a final adoption of both legislative text by the end of 2022 at the earliest.

European Parliament appoints members to lead on theF-Gas Regulation position
In July, political parties in the European Parliament appointed MEPs who will lead the works on the Commission’s proposal to revise the 2014 Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas (F-Gas) Regulation in the upcoming months.As a reminder, the F-Gas proposal sets out the prohibition timelines for different groups of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat-pump 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.In the Environment (ENVI) Committee, MEP Bas Eickhout (The Netherlands, Greens/EFA), will be the rapporteur, together with MEPs Stelios Kympouropoulos (Greece, EPP), Günther Sidl (Austria, S&D), Ondrej Knotek (Czechia, Renew), Danilo Oscar Lancini (Italy, ID), Alexandr Vondra (Czechia, ECR), Nikolaj Villumsen (Denmark, GUE/NGL) as shadow rapporteurs.As for the next steps, the proposal will be discussed in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the following months, with an agreement expected by Q4 2023. Once adopted, it will enter into force 20 days following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and apply as of 1 January of the following year.

EU National Updates
Italy Envisages Energy Savings Measures
In July, the Italian government announced it was drafting an emergency savings plan that could include limiting heating to 19°C in winter and cooling to 27°C in summer, reducing street lighting at night, and closing shops early. As a result, Italy is looking to reduce 7% of gas demand by March, partly by boosting its coal-powered generation.However, as of today, no official plan has been published. Given the political crisis that the country is currently facing and the political elections scheduled on 25 September, it is expected that the new government will draft the official plan.

Spain Publishes Energy Savings Measures Plan
On 1 August, the Spanish government announced an energy savings plan which, among other things, promotes the use of renewables over fossil fuels.Of interest to ASHRAE members, starting from 8 August, air conditioning cannot be lowered below 27°C in summer and heating cannot exceed 19°C next winter. Moreover, buildings will have to carry out a revision of their heating and cooling systems before 31 December 2022, if they carried out the last one before 1 January 2021.Both measures will be in place until November 2023 and are applicable to all commercial buildings and offices, while they were already applicable for public administration buildings. They still remain voluntary only for households.Nonetheless, the government is expected to publish a broader energy contingency and savings plan in September.

Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC) – Sustainable Buildings and Industry Workshop
Between 6 and 9 September 2022, RHC will hold a workshop in Nice, France, involving experts from the biomass, geothermal, solar thermal and heat pump sectors to discuss a common strategy for increasing the use of renewable energy technologies for heating and cooling for buildings and industry.This workshop is a continuation of the two previous RHC for Buildings and Industry Workshop at SP2020 and SP2021. Projects are again invited to pitch their progress and achievements to date (a pitch presentation template was developed accordingly). Interactive discussion slots will allow for opportunities to identify possible synergies, cooperation on horizontal issues or potential joint dissemination activities to maximise expected impacts.Details about the event and registration link are available here.

Euroheat & Power – ReUseHeat: Celsius Final Conference
On 7 September 2022, the ReUseHeat project and Celsius Initiative organise their a joint final conference at L42 Business Center, in Brussels.Key findings on the waste heat potential and urban waste heat recovery and along with all the experience from the four demonstration sites will be presented by ReUseHeat. Celsius Initiative will share its main outcomes on the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing between cities, the similarities and differences between cities in H&C transition as well as key learnings from the Celsius format (e.g. Forerunner Groups and Celsius Talks).Details about the in-person conference and registration link are available here.
8th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems
Between 13 and 14 September 2022, a conference organized by Aalborg University and Energy Cluster Denmark will take place to establish a venue for presenting and discussing scientific findings and industrial experiences related to the subject of Smart Energy Systems – including renewable energy, 4th Generation District Heating Technologies and Systems (4GDH), electrification of heating and transport sectors, electrofuels and energy efficiency.Details about the in-person conference and registration link 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 the Czech Republic until the end of 2022.
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 EU’s main and biggest Research and Innovation programme for the period of 2021-2027. The programme has an overall funding of €95,5 billion. The program is divided into three pillars: open science, global challenges & industrial competitiveness and open innovation.
INVESTEU: The InvestEU Programme builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. It brings 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 EU’s energy and climate laws to bring them in line with this ambition. Green Deal also introduces new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation.
FIT-FOR-55-PACKAGE: The European Commission’s work program for 2021 included 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. The package is compiled of two parts, released on 14 July 2021 and 14 December 2021.
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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