With the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Renewable Energy Sources Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, the European Union has established common frameworks for reducing energy consumption and increasing renewable energy use. The targets are in line with the overall 20-20-20 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990, improving energy efficiency by 20% and increasing the share of EU energy produced from renewable resources by 20%. The directives set binding targets that have to be transposed into national law and implemented via national regulations at defined dates.
To enhance the sharing of information and exchange of experiences from national adoption and implementation of this important legislation, the European Commission established, for each one of these three directives, a joint initiative with representatives of the national implementation bodies. These joint initiatives are called Concerted Actions.
Here you can download the PDF version of this Overview article (see below under 'Additional documents'). Enjoy reading, and feel free to send a comment of your own!
The three Concerted Actions
Since 2005, the three Concerted Actions (EPBD, RES and EED) have been the meeting place for national representatives working on the implementation of the EU directives into national measures and policies. The three Concerted Actions offer structured and confidential dialogue between the delegates. Countries participating in the Concerted Actions exchange experiences and best practices, participate in a peer learning process and develop common approaches. Experience shows that the Concerted Actions have substantially contributed to a better understanding of the implementation challenges and the pro and cons of various strategies. Moreover, this exchange has resulted in more convergence in the national approaches. Although the majority of the activities are not made public (in particular to allow open discussions between the national representatives), the Concerted Actions regularly publish books, information papers, thematic and other reports.
Concerted Action EPBD
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC) was first published in 2002 and required all Member States to improve building regulations, to introduce energy certification schemes for buildings and schemes for inspection of boilers and air-conditioners. Due to the ambitious targets set in the directive, the introduction of national laws meeting EU requirements was very challenging. To support Member States, the Concerted Action on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (CA EPBD) was launched by the European Commission to promote dialogue and exchange of best practice. An active forum of national authorities from 29 countries, the focus was on finding common approaches for the most effective implementation of this directive.
With the adoption of the recast EPBD (Directive 2010/31/EU) in 2010, Member States faced new
challenges. Leading issues are the move towards new and retrofitted nearly-zero energy buildings by 2021 (2019 in the case of public buildings), and the application of a cost-optimal methodology for setting minimum requirements for both the building envelope and the technical systems. The current Concerted Action EPBD, coordinated by ADENE, runs from 2011 until 2015 and discusses the following seven thematic areas (referred to as Core Themes):
- Certification schemes
- Inspection of heating and air-conditioning
- Training of experts and inspectors
- Energy performance requirements using the cost-optimum methodology
- Towards 2020 – Nearly zero-energy buildings
- Compliance and control of energy performance requirements and certification system
- Effectiveness of support initiatives
The most recent results of the work within CA EPBD and the EPBD implementation in the countries are presented in the book Implementing Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) featuring country reports 2012 published in June 2013. The book updates the information published in 2010.
Concerted Action RES
In June 2009 the Renewable Energy Sources Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC) entered into force. The directive establishes a common framework for the use of renewable energy within the European Union. Each Member State has a target for the share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final energy consumption for the year 2020. Member States submitted National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) to the European Commission on 30 June 2010 describing concrete measures in the electricity, heating and cooling and transportation sectors. The first biannual reports on progress in the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources were submitted by the Member States in December 2011.
The Concerted Action on the Renewable Energy Sources Directive (CA-RES) supports the transposition and implementation of the directive and the achievement of national targets. The first phase of the CA-RES ended in July 2013. The second phase (CA-RES II) started in August 2013 and will run until 2016.
The CA-RES II is coordinated by the Austrian Energy Agency and is organised around seven Core Themes:
- Support schemes for electricity
- Cooperation mechanisms
- Renewable heat
- Electricity Networks
- Guarantees of origin and disclosure
- Biomass mobilisation and sustainability
- Renewables in transport
In 2013 the CA-RES published an Executive Summary of the first phase. Other results are available through the summary working group reports and the national summaries for the years 2012 and 2013.
Concerted Action EED
The Energy Efficiency Directive (Directive 2012/27/EU) was published on 25 October 2012, repealing the Energy Services Directive (Directive 2006/32/EC) as well as the Cogeneration Directive (Directive 2004/8/EC). The EED is to be transposed by all Member States by the beginning of June 2014. The directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the European Union in order to ensure the achievement of the 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond 2020. It lays down rules designed to remove barriers and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy, and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020. Member States report on the progress achieved towards the national energy efficiency targets by submitting National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs).
Similar to the other Concerted Actions, the Concerted Action on the Energy Efficiency Directive (CA EED) was launched to support the Member States in transposing and implementing the directive. The work is coordinated by NL Agency and is structured around eight Core Themes:
- NEEAPs and annual reports and measuring progress in Energy Efficiency
- Public Sector - buildings and public purchasing
- Metering and billing, demand response and grid issues
- Energy services and ESCOs, energy auditing, solving administrative barriers
- Funds and financing for energy efficiency
- Consumer information programmes, training and certification of professionals
- Efficiency in energy supply, high efficiency CHP and heating/cooling
- Energy efficiency obligation schemes, monitoring impacts of eligible measures
Other publications from CA EED include various working group executive summaries, good practice factsheets, Member States presentations and the Executive Summary Report of CA ESD I.
Where the three Concerted Actions meet
There are several common areas addressed by the directives on energy performance of buildings, on energy efficiency and on renewable energy sources - primarily reporting, energy certification, training, information campaigns, financial instruments, the exemplary role of the public sector and metering & monitoring. The potential for national synergies depends on the details of national transposition and how responsibility for implementation is assigned and coordinated at national level. Topics common to the three directives are discussed in joint Concerted Action working groups, as well as in other relevant EU initiatives, e.g. with the BUILD UP Skills initiative which is addressing the need for training, qualification and accreditation of experts (architects, engineers, auditors, craftsmen, technicians and installers) across Europe.
BUILD UP and the Concerted Actions
BUILD UP is the information point on energy efficiency and renewable energy use in buildings. As such, BUILD UP hosts and promotes outputs from the three Concerted Actions. In addition, the Training and the Financing schemes sections of BUILD UP address both energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. Also, the contents in the BUILD UP Country Facts are ‘curated’ by CA EPBD national representatives and include official material (regulations, standards, registries, etc.) from all 29 participating countries, as well as the national implementation status reports featured in the Concerted Action EPBD books.
Various BUILD UP Communities are relevant to the EPBD, for example:
- Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Community
- Nearly zero-energy buildings
- Certification schemes
- Cost-optimal energy performance
BUILD UP Communities present specialised, in-depth information gathered together in one place, and give BUILD UP registered users the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss topics.
All Concerted Action initiatives, as well as BUILD UP, are funded by Intelligent Energy–Europe under the European Union’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme.
Eduardo Maldonado, Leonardo Barreto-Gomez and Lucinda Maclagan