Major outputs & results
A very low energy consuming building stock in the EU can become a reality. ENTRANZE has created a policy ‘laboratory’ to develop and analyse the potential impact of national strategies and policy sets so that buildings can achieve this target. Thus, the core mission of ENTRANZE (Policies to Enforce the Transition to nearly Zero-Energy Buildings in the EU-27) was to assist policy makers in developing integrated, effective and efficient policy packages to achieve a fast and strong penetration of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEB) and renewable heating and cooling technologies (RES H/C) – with a focus on the refurbishment of existing buildings.
The project covers the whole EU-28. However, not all activities were carried out at the same level of detail for all Member States (MS). The key target countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain) cover more than 60% of the EU building stock and all important climate regions.
The research conducted over several years covered the following topics:
- Filling information gaps related to the EU building stock;
- Analysing stakeholder behaviour and acceptance of various technologies;
- Identifying cost-optimal technology configurations of renovation activities;
- Developing scenarios for the development of energy demand in buildings up to 2030;
- Deriving policy recommendations for local, regional, national and EU policy makers.
One of the outstanding elements of ENTRANZE was the in-depth communication process with policy makers through the setting up of policy group meetings and expert dialogues in all target countries.
The main conclusions and recommendations of the project are:
- Clear targets until 2050 for the energy performance of the building stock are required for the development of target-oriented policy packages. Up to now only a few countries have adopted such targets.
- A bundle of instruments is needed to properly address the heterogeneous target groups and technology-specific barriers. The focus on a single instrument is not sufficient.
- While a strengthening of regulatory measures is essential, there is at the same time the need for much stronger focus on compliance.
- There is a huge lack of data regarding renovation activities and the energy performance of buildings. There is a need for a building data observatory, in particular for monitoring policy impacts.
- The EPBD (recast) was a first attempt to create a comparable framework for EU MS, however, further enhancement of the legislation is necessary.
- In particular, an enhanced EPBD framework should make clear that cost optimality has to represent the absolute minimum requirements for existing regulations in the building codes. While nZEB energy performance levels should be cost-effective, they still have to be more ambitious than cost-optimal energy performance levels. Thus, an enhanced EPBD has to be very precise in asking MS to present plans to close the gap between nZEB target levels in 2020 and the cost-optimal levels of current building codes.
- The EPBD should also gradually increase the binding character of nZEB requirements for existing buildings. Thus, a clear definition of nZEB or deep renovation is also required.
- Consistency in terminology and timing between Directives and CEN standardisation procedures should be further enhanced.
In the end, the research conducted during the project offers policy makers a valuable toolkit and the know-how on how to use it effectively so that they can improve the situation of the EU building stock by achieving ambitious long-term energy savings and CO2 reductions.