European Solar Thermal Industry Federation

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

Recast of the directive

The European Parliament and the European Council agreed (17 November 2009) on the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The directive implies that from the year 2020 onwards all new buildings will have to be 'nearly zero energy buildings' and comply with high energy-performance standards and supply a significant share of their energy requirements from renewable sources. For public buildings these standards need to be met by the end of 2018. Furthermore, Member States were called upon to promote also the conversion of old buildings to high energy performance and renewable energy sources. Since no overall EU standard could be reached due to diverging local conditions, each Member State will define its specific standards.

The Directive 2010/31/EU (recast) was  adopted by the EU Council and the European Parliament on 19 May 2010. It was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 June 2010 and will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication.

Net Zero Energy Buildings 

The European Parliament’s report amending the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.was adopted on 23 April 2009 with a majority of 549 votes and stipulates that all new buildings should be net zero energy by December 2018.

Member States must also promote the use of renewables in existing buildings undergoing major refurbishment. This is a significant measure as these represent the major share of the building stock.

Financial support

This report also requires the European Commission to produce in 2010 legislative proposals on reduced VAT-rates for services and products related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The proposals should also consider an increase in the maximum amount of the European Regional Development Fund allocation to support energy efficiency and renewable energy. Most importantly, a fund should be established, based on contributions from the Community budget, the European Investment Bank and Member States for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.


Concerted Action - Energy Performance of Buildings

The Concerted Action* conducted a study on experiences and challenges for setting cost optimal levels for energy performance requirements, which was published in July 2011. The results were used as input by the EU Commission in their work of establishing the Regulation on a comparative methodology framework for calculating cost optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements.

More information here

*A joint initiative of the EU Member States and the European Commission, the Concerted Action EPBD was launched in 2005.



49% of Europe's energy demand is consumed in buildings. The majority is used in heating or cooling residential and commercial buildings, and providing hot water. Many countries have included energy requirements into their building codes. The European Union has addressed this issue in its Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD), which requires Member States to set minimum energy performance requirements for buildings, taking also into account the positive contribution of solar thermal and other renewable energy sources. 

BUILD UP POrtal of the European Commission

By clicking on an EU Member State, follow the EPBD implementation progress in that country


Directive 2010/31/EU is available in several languages.

Please click here to view the relevant page of the Official Journal of the European Union (the preferred language can be selected on that page)

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