Green homes, green light to the EU directive: stop gas boilers from 2040. Italy and Hungary vote against


By John

Green homes: The Council of the EU has formally adopted the reformed directive on the energy performance of buildings which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy poverty in the EU.

Italy and Hungary voted against the European directive on green homes. However, the following abstained: the Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden.

Buildings currently account for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. According to the new rules – explains the Council – by 2030 all new buildings should be zero-emission buildings, and by 2050 the EU's building stock should be transformed into zero-emission building stock.
For non-residential buildings, the revised directive introduces minimum energy performance standards ensuring that such buildings do not exceed the specified maximum amount of primary or final energy they can use per m2 each year. Under the new rules, by 2030 all non-residential buildings will be above the 16% worst performing buildings and by 2033 above the 26% worst performing buildings in terms of energy performance. This will lead to a phase-out of the worst performing non-residential buildings. Member states can choose to exempt specific buildings from the rules, such as historic buildings, places of worship or buildings owned by the armed forces.

Member States will also ensure that the average primary energy consumption of residential buildings will be reduced by 16% in 2030 and by 20-22% in 2035. At least 55% of the energy reduction will be achieved through the renovation of the most deteriorated buildings, which represent 43% of the worst performing residential buildings. In their renewal efforts, Member States will implement technical assistance and financial support measures, with particular attention to vulnerable families.
To decarbonise the buildings sector, national building renovation plans will include a roadmap with the aim of phasing out fossil fuel boilers by 2040.

The new rules will ensure the installation of suitable solar energy systems in new buildings, public buildings and existing non-residential buildings undergoing renovation that require a permit. They will also provide infrastructure for sustainable mobility, including charging points for electric cars in or next to buildings, pre-cabling or ducting to accommodate future infrastructure and bicycle parking.

The directive will now be signed and published in the EU Official Journal. Member States will have two years to transpose the provisions of the Directive into their national legislation. The Commission will review the Directive by 2028, in light of the experience gained and progress made during its implementation.

Giorgetti: “No to green houses. The issue is who pays”

«We voted against the directive on green homes, the process has concluded. The issue is who pays. We have unfortunately known experiences in Italy.” Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said this today in Luxembourg for Ecofin. “It's a wonderful, ambitious directive, but in the end who pays? We have experiences in Italy in which a few lucky people have renovated their houses thanks to the money that the State, that is, all the other Italians, put in and let's say it's an experience that could teach something.”

Mazzetti: we defended the Italians' first investment

«Commitment made and maintained by Forza Italia and by the centre-right government which is already asserting its weight in Europe waiting to change it, from within and with the vote. We have rejected the directive for the so-called “green houses” from the sender, already cleaned and stripped of many ideological and pauperist contents. The directive must be completely rethought and rewritten, following reason and not ideology and starting from one principle: property is sacred.” The Hon. underlines this in a note. Erica Mazzetti, national manager of the public works department of Forza Italia and member of the Environment Commission, who claims: “We have managed to defend the interests of Italians but we also work to give companies in the sector and citizens the possibility of redeveloping properties in terms of seismic, energy and also water and we have already moved in this direction, with legislative proposals like mine hinged on the competent commissions of the Chamber of Deputies”.

«There are profound differences – he recalls – between us and other European countries, given that in our country ownership is widespread and above all very individual and fragmented, which must necessarily be taken into account when making decisions. Not only that, we need to clarify with which funds we intend to support these works, given that neither Italians alone nor our country can do it without a commitment from Europe, of which we are a key member.” «Italy – specifies Mazzetti – must redevelop its real estate assets but it must do so in its own time and with its own rules».