The European Parliament has passed a regulation that bans sale or renting of homes without energy upgrade.
All properties available for sale or rent must incur compulsory energy upgrade costs, costing tens of thousands of euros, from 2030 onward, based on what is stated in the relevant European Union directive.
The bill to that effect was passed on Tuesday by the European Parliament with 343 votes in favor, 216 against and 78 absent.
Buildings across Europe could be renovated to cut emissions and save energy after the European Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that aims to lower households’ energy bills and wean EU countries off Russian gas faster.
Buildings account for roughly 40% of the European Union’s energy use, and most are heated by fossil fuels. The proposed new rules could require millions of buildings to be upgraded using methods such as insulation or efficient heating systems, reports reuters.
“Soaring energy prices have put the focus on energy efficiency and energy saving measures. Improving the performance of Europe’s buildings will reduce bills and our dependence on energy imports,” said Ciaran Cuffe, lead lawmaker on the rules.
Out of 637 lawmakers present, 343 were in favour of the new rules which would require all EU buildings with a G energy performance certificate – representing the worst-performing 15% per country – and the next-worst F rating to be renovated this decade.
EU countries would need to renovate non-residential buildings to an E grade by 2027, and D by 2030. Residential buildings would follow later deadlines of E by 2030 and D by 2033.
The final law will now be negotiated with EU countries.
Some countries have shown resistance against the law, including Italy, which wants to delay and offer exemptions to renovations it says neither the government nor homeowners can afford.
In response to Tuesday’s vote, Italy’s energy minister Gilberto Pichetto said that his country would negotiate for a law that recognizes the Italian objectives, calling the law “unsatisfactory for Italy”.
As it stands, the law already comes with some exceptions with monuments being excluded from the new rules as well as public social housing if renovations would lead to rent increases higher than the savings on energy bills.
This energy upgrade obligation will only concern properties that are classified in the two lowest categories of the energy certificate and are either sold or leased (with new lease contracts). Commercial real estate (e.g. offices, shops, warehouses etc) and real estate used by the state will be expected to achieve the same target by 2027 (for category E) and by 2030 (for category D) if they are the subject of a new lease or sale.
For example, an apartment in the center of Athens which currently has a category G energy certificate should undergo energy efficiency upgrade works at a cost of 15,000-20,000 euros in order to insulate it and be able to upgrade its energy efficiency during the required two categories, going up to the E category. From 2033, however, the minimum will be set at the immediately higher category D, notes the Greek daily.
PS Another EU institution with “elected” well-paid MPs living in a bubble and who confirm they have no idea how EU citizens live in real life.