Europe’s new buildings get welcome push to produce as much energy as they use | WWF

Europe’s new buildings get welcome push to produce as much energy as they use

Posted on
23 April 2009
Brussels, Belgium – WWF has welcomed a European Parliament vote today that proposes a 2019 deadline for all new houses, offices and shops built in the European Union to produce the same amount of energy they consume. The deadline will be 2016 for all new public buildings.

“We commend the vision of the legislators in making zero net energy buildings the cornerstone of the revised directive,” said Arianna Vitali Roscini, WWF’s Policy Officer for energy conservation in buildings.

“Technically and economically there is nothing standing in the way of an earlier deadline for all new constructions, which could help the EU achieve the 2020 emissions reduction targets.”

The vote, revising a law aiming at improving energy performance in buildings, needs to be confirmed by the Council of the Ministers later this year.

“There is huge potential for buildings to consume less energy and produce renewable energy on site” Vitali Roscini said.

“Promotion of energy efficiency is a winning strategy for Europe. It improves energy security, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, encourages technology development and creates new jobs. This is a structural change within reach, it is up to political will to make it happen.”

WWF is also satisfied that energy efficiency standards will apply to all major renovations, not only to those of surfaces above 1,000 square meters, as it was in the previous law. This is particularly relevant because existing constructions represent the majority of the European building stock (approximately 25% of residential buildings in Europe were built before 1945).

In Europe buildings use 40 per cent of energy and are linked to 36 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Much of that energy and CO2 can be saved with better insulation, improved heating and cooling systems, double glazing, efficient lighting and smart meters.

This week WWF has organised an exhibition at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to showcase the new generation of efficient buildings in France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Note to the editors:
• The WWF exhibition, taking place from 21st to 24th April in LOW building1st floor, European Parliament in Strasbourg, is sponsored by MEP Silvia-Adriana Ticau. It features six super-efficient buildings:
  • WWF offices in Zeist, the Netherlands
  • Promitheus residential building in Athens, Greece
  • Star Dome One project in Rucar, Romania
  • ruralZed residential project in Grande Synthe, France
  • Kingspan Lighthouse in Garston, England, UK
  • Arthur Woll Haus, university building in Siegen, Germany.
For further information:
(In Strasbourg) Arianna Vitali Roscini, WWF’s Policy Officer for energy conservation in buildings
Tel: +32 2 743 88 16

(In Brussels) Claudia Delpero, Communications Manager at WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 740 09 25
MEP Silvia-Adriana Ticau and Tony Long, director WWF European Policy Office, opening the exhibition.
© Photo European Parliament