Buildings in the EU: highly energy-efficient and money-saving by 2050

  • boosting renovations for more energy-efficient buildings
  • supporting infrastructure for electrical vehicles in new buildings
  • better monitoring of buildings energy performance to reduce costs
Buildings consume most energy in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy ©AP Images/European Union-EP

New measures to ensure that all new buildings in the EU are as energy-efficient as possible by 2050 were agreed by the Industry and Energy Committee.

Rules to channel the focus towards energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness when existing buildings are renovated in the EU were approved on Wednesday by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). This updates the Directive for Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) and is part of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package.

Boosting renovations

MEPs want a clear strategy that would make both public and private buildings highly energy-efficient by 2050. They propose introducing energy reduction benchmarks for 2030 and 2040, as well as measurable progress indicators, to evaluate how new buildings contribute to the EU’s overall energy-efficiency goals.

National data on energy-efficiency of buildings in the EU 2000-2015


Infrastructure for electric vehicles will have to be added to all new buildings and to those undertaking major renovation, such as electrical recharging and parking infrastructure in buildings with more than 10 parking spaces.

Monitoring energy performance

MEPs approved the use of a “smartness indicator” measuring tool to help reduce energy consumption by adapting the building to the needs of the occupant. High standards of indoor health and air quality conditions would also be prioritised.


Bendt Bendtsen (EPP, DK), rapporteur, said: “We have achieved a solid majority in Parliament to boost energy efficiency renovations. It is vital that Member States show a clear commitment and take concrete actions in their long-term planning. This includes facilitating access to financial tools, showing investors that energy efficiency renovations are prioritised, and enabling public authorities to invest in well-performing buildings.”

Next steps

Informal negotiations with EU Ministers are expected to start promptly, once plenary has approved the negotiating mandate, scheduled for October II session in Strasbourg.

Quick facts

  • Buildings consume most energy in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy.
  • About 75% of buildings are energy-inefficient and, depending on the Member State, only 0.4-1.2% of them are renovated each year.
  • The construction industry generates about 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million jobs.