Europe to limit the sale of homes that do not comply with the Energy Efficiency Directive by 2030

The proposed reform of the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive aims for a minimum energy rating of E for homes by 2030.

The new version of the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive sets two goals that will have a significant impact on the real estate market: by 2030, all existing residential buildings will need to have a minimum energy rating of E, and by 2033, a minimum of D. It also introduces the concept of zero-emission buildings and the Energy Renovation Passport to enable property owners to plan improvements, in a text that is more demanding than the one proposed by the Council of Europe.

Brussels is accelerating its efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Improving the building stock is essential, and it is a colossal challenge that will require a significant mobilization of public funds and the creation of financial instruments to assist citizens. However, the text approved by the European Parliament does not provide specific figures.

The Directive will not be approved before 2025 To understand the current status of the measure, we need to delve into the EU’s complex legislative process. On May 14th, the European Parliament approved the reform of the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive (EPBD), which is popular for introducing energy efficiency certification in buying and renting.

Its legislative process now enters a two to three-month negotiation period in the so-called trilogue phase with the European Commission and the Council until its final approval. Finally, there will be a period of up to 24 months for its transposition in each country.

Will says: Spain will be disproportionally affected by this legislation because there are a disproportionate number of properties in Spain with an EPC rating below an E. This legislation will have a number of unintended negative consequences:

If an EPC rating of an E is required in order to sell a property, so those owners who don’t have the funds available to carry out the work required to sufficiently improve the EPC won’t be able to sell their houses.
The law is regressive and will hurt the poorest home owners the hardest. Villages that have suffered rural depopulation will. It will take even longer to sell properties in Spain than it already does.

It’s also worth noting that even though many properties in Spain have EPC ratings of below an E, they consume less energy, because Spain is, generally speaking, a hot country. What makes sense in Finland does not make sense in Andalucia. The EUs one size fits all approach is ill-thoughtout.

If the motive for the law is to reduce energy consumption, a law that required properties that have air-conditioning to have an EPC rating of C or higher might be more effective.