EU’s planned energy efficiency rules could spell huge problems for Spain’s housing market.

The Spanish housing sector could face significant challenges under the EU’s new energy efficiency plan. The draft Energy Performance of Buildings Directive would require all homes to have an E rating or better by 2030 and a D rating by 2033. The aim is to increase the value of energy-efficient properties while devaluing those that are less efficient. There is even talk of making a minimum rating a legal requirement for property transactions. While some resist the directive, experts say that making homes more energy-efficient is necessary to meet the decarbonisation target of net zero by 2050. However, compliance with the plan will require a significant investment by owners, particularly those with older homes. The draft directive does not establish penalties for non-compliance, leaving this to the member states. The Green Building Council of Spain estimates that over 80% of buildings in Spain have a current rating of E or below, so complying with the directive would impose significant costs on the vast majority of owners in Spain.