As buildings account for roughly 40% of Europe’s energy consumption, the real estate sector has a crucial role to play in driving energy efficiency improvements.

The recently updated Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2023 (EPBD) addresses this challenge by setting stricter requirements and deadlines. Ignoring these updates could result in potentially higher fines and legal issues, which means acting now can save you money and ensure compliance. We outline the EPBD Directive, delve into its benefits, and explain how to achieve compliance. 

Understanding the EPBD: Building a Greener Future 

The EPBD is a regulation by the European Union that sets minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings. Its primary goal is to create a future with highly sustainable and energy-efficient buildings, contributing to a greener future in several ways. 

Key elements to highlight: 

  • Deadline: The EPBD sets strict deadlines for renovations. Member states must significantly improve the energy performance of the least efficient buildings by a specific date. This means upgrading at least 26% of the worst-performing non-residential buildings by 2033. 
  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards: The EPBD sets minimum energy performance standards for new and existing buildings. These standards are becoming increasingly stringent, requiring new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by 2030 (meaning they produce as much energy as they consume). 
  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs): One of the new proposals is an EU-wide EPC scheme. These certificates assess a building’s energy efficiency and provide a rating. This helps homeowners and businesses understand their building’s energy use and identify areas for improvement. 
  • Renovation strategies: The EPBD emphasizes renovating existing buildings to improve their energy performance. This can involve upgrading insulation, windows, and heating/cooling systems. The revised EPBD sets national renovation targets and requires Member States to develop strategies for achieving them. 
  • Smart Building Technologies: The EPBD encourages the use of smart building technologies, such as building automation systems, to optimize energy use. 

Noncompliance consequences 

  • Fines: Fines can be imposed on individuals or companies not meeting the EPBD requirements. 
  • Delays in construction: Building permits may be delayed or denied for non-compliant structures. 
  • Reduced property value: Buildings with poor energy performance may be less attractive to buyers or renters, potentially leading to a lower market value. 

EPBD Benefits for your portfolio 

Modernising your buildings with energy-efficient upgrades isn’t just about the environment. Improved insulation, ventilation, and lighting systems create a more comfortable and healthier environment for your tenants. This leads to higher tenant satisfaction, potentially reducing vacancy rates and increasing your rental income. Additionally, lower energy consumption translates directly to reduced operational costs for heating, cooling, and lighting. The savings add up year after year, boosting your bottom line. 

Tenants are increasingly seeking out sustainable spaces with lower utility bills. Implementing EPBD measures can significantly improve your building’s energy rating, making it more attractive in the rental market. This translates to higher potential rent and quicker tenant acquisition. In today’s competitive landscape, energy efficiency is becoming a key differentiator; buildings that comply with EPBD stand out to environmentally conscious tenants. 

The EPBD plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Embracing the directive means you’ll be contributing to a greener future and demonstrating your commitment to environmental responsibility. This can enhance your company’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) rating, which is becoming increasingly important for attracting investors and securing financing. 

Achieving compliance: How Hollis can help make that journey smooth 

Our team of engineers, architects, and environmental specialists brings diverse expertise together to deliver comprehensive EPBD assessments across various sectors. We can conduct a comprehensive energy audit of your building to identify areas where energy consumption can be reduced. This audit will provide valuable data to inform your upgrade strategy. Based on the energy audit results, we can recommend specific upgrades tailored to your building and budget. We’ll prioritise measures that offer the greatest return on investment and ensure they align with the latest EPBD requirements. 

Our experts can also assist with project management throughout the upgrade process. This includes helping you secure qualified contractors, overseeing installation, and ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget. We can guide you through the necessary paperwork and reporting required for EPBD compliance, such as the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and ensure all documentation meets current regulations. 

We operate in Europe and have supported clients with nearly 50 projects; spanning logistics, student residences, hotels, and more. Contact our ESG Associate, Rodrigo Garcia, today to discuss the EPBD compliance pathway and explore how our team of experts can guide you through the process.