Annually, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Currently, about 35% of the EU's buildings are over 50 years old. By improving the energy efficiency of buildings, total EU energy consumption could be reduced by 5% to 6% and CO2 emissions could be lowered by about 5%. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU), foresees some high efficiency requirements for new buildings and deep renovations. For instance, it obliges the Member States that all new buildings in 2020 should be nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs). All new public buildings must be nearly zero-energy by 2018.

The role of heat-pump solutions

Heat pump applications are efficient: heat pumps produce 3-4 times as much heat as they need electricity to drive the compressor. In fact, heat pumps are amongst the most efficient devices for heating, cooling and hot water use and increase energy efficiency in the residential, commercial and industrial sector. As such they use 75% of renewable energy (air, water or ground) and only need 25% of electricity. The EPBD acknowledges heat pump applications in line with the RES Directive, and also explicitly mentions their reversible characteristic. Furthermore, heat pump applications fulfill the minimum energy requirements set for the building envelope. Ecofys mentions heat pumps as an important feature of the aforementioned nZEBs. 

Policy state of play

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EHPA policy work


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EHPA positions

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