Brussels 30 November 2016
Glass for Europe, the trade association of the flat glass sector, which manufactures energy saving technologies for the building, transport and solar-energy sectors, is pleased that with today's release of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package, a real debate on the long-awaited modernisation of the EU's energy efficiency legislations is made possible.
Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe, comments: 'Expectations on energy efficiency and in particular on thermal renovation of buildings, are high.' By embracing the 'energy efficiency first' principle and setting the need to prioritize the building sector, the European Commission has set the right policy path in its Energy Union package. 'It is now time for the focus on energy efficiency in buildings to materialize with subsequent and actionable measures allowing the wider construction industry to deliver on its jobs creation and energy savings promises to effectively tackle climate change' Bertrand Cazes adds.
In this respect, the proposal from the European Commission of a binding 30% target for energy efficiency is a step in the right direction although Glass for Europe considers it 'minimalistic' to unlock the energy savings potential of buildings. Glass for Europe will call on co-legislators to raise the overall ambition level.
Glass for Europe welcomes the European Commission's stated ambition of achieving a 'decarbonised building stock' in Europe by 2050 provided that it does not dilute energy savings ambitions. The new 'Smart Finance for Smart Buildings' initiative and the securing of national roadmaps for building renovation are welcomed instruments to leverage investments in building renovation. However, Glass for Europe regrets the lack of concrete measures in the revised 'Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to support the deployment of cost-effective energy-efficient technologies in building materials like glass facades and windows. Bertrand Cazes underlines that 'Measures to support the integration of 'smart' components to buildings should not overshadow that this Commission proposal is weak on the performance of building envelope technologies, which deliver massive reductions in heating and cooling needs in buildings.'