Clean Energy for All Europeans Package: A step forward, but not yet enough

Clean Energy for All Europeans Package: A step forward, but not yet enough

The European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac), welcomes the launch of the Clean Energy EU Package adopted on November 30, 2016 by the European Commission, including, amongst other things, a new Ecodesign Working Plan and revised Energy Efficiency (EED) and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

With regards to the new Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, eu.bac gladly acknowledges the introduction of Building Automation and Control Systems in the list of products subject to new dedicated studies, as the category with the biggest potential savings.

The preparatory studies will provide the opportunity to further prove and disclose the “multiplier effect” of Building Automation Systems, controlling, integrating and optimizing building services related to heating, cooling, ventilation, electric storage, lighting, solar shading and more.

While Ecodesign, setting requirements for the energy efficiency for buildings related products is certainly a key measure to benefit European consumers, the need is nonetheless clear for complementary ambitious minimum requirements for the energy performance of installed retrofitted or replaced building elements under their national building codes.

Nowadays, millions of consumers cannot appropriately manage their heating and cooling expenses, as around 50-100 million dwellings still have equipment requiring manual regulation of energy supply. Just as an example, if manual radiator valves were exchanged with thermostatic radiator valves, the estimated annual saving of energy/gas consumption, costs and GHG emissions in the stock of residential buildings would be 167 TWh/ 14 Mtoe, 10€ billion, respectively 31 million tonnes CO2 emissions.

For the stock of non-residential buildings, the estimated annual savings resulting from the continuous monitoring and commissioning of larger buildings will result in estimated annual savings of energy/gas consumption, costs and GHG emissions in the stock of non-residential buildings is 465 TWh/ 40 Mtoe, 48€ billion, respectively 80 million tonnes CO2 emissions.

Throughout the review process, eu.bac has been calling for reinforced action in particular on Article 8 of the EPBD: this reform is an unmissable opportunity to unleash and strengthen the potential of Building Automation and Controls to put citizens and enterprises in control of their heating and cooling expenses, to ensure healthy indoor living and working conditions, to reduce gas imports, integrate renewable electricity and cut Greenhouse gas emissions.

The question is whether the proposal will remove the market failures that currently prevent a wider application of basic control technologies for heating and cooling systems.

eu.bac believes that the Commission’s proposal is a step in the right direction, but we also believe that the improvement potentials will be achieved only in part and in the long term. Building Automation and Controls have proven to be effective not only in substituting regular physical inspections, but also in empowering consumers and enhancing their savings and their health. Therefore, why not be more ambitious? Why not ensure that citizens and enterprises have clean energy without unnecessary delays?

eu.bac is firmly convinced that there is still room for major improvements and is committed to working with the European Parliament and the Council in order to improve the legislative framework, making it finally posisble to unleash the potential of Building Automation and Controls and, in doing so, creating jobs, contributing to economic recovery and growth and benefitting the citizens and enterprises.

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