The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) require member states to develop ambitious policies in the building sector. The intelligent design of integrated policy packages supporting nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) and renewable heating and cooling (RES-H/C) will be crucial for achieving ambitious long-term energy savings and CO2-reductions in the building sector. In particular, this holds for the refurbishment of existing buildings.


The objective of this project is to assist policy makers in developing integrated, effective and efficient policy packages achieving a fast and strong penetration of NZEB and RES-H/C focusing on the refurbishment of existing buildings in line with the EPBD and the RED.


The core part of the project was the communication process with policy makers including the set up of policy group meetings and expert dialogs. The process focused on 9 target countries, covering >60% of the EU-27 (resp. EU-28) building stock. Data, scenarios and recommendations were also provided for EU-27 (+ Croatia and Serbia), later EU-28 (+ Serbia). The process has been supported by (1) an online data mapping tool allowing user friendly access to building data, energy demand indicators and scenario results; (2) analyses regarding cost-optimal levels of NZEB; (3) model-based scenarios up to 2030 for different policy settings built on the suggestions and discussions with policy makers; (4) international comparative policy analyses. Dissemination activities have transfered results to other countries and the EU-level.


Policy makers and other stakeholders were strongly involved in the process, learnt from the experience in other countries and gained deep understanding of the impact of policy instruments and their specific design. Detailed elements of such policy implementations have been elaborated. This provided the ground for favourable, stable conditions for increasing the penetration of NZEB and RES-H/C in particular in building refurbishments.