After an EU-wide review of current EPC schemes and extensive stakeholder discussions, QualDeEPC developed an enhanced EPC scheme focusing on 7 elements and tested their applicability and convergence.
To achieve the EU’s energy efficiency targets, both the rate of building energy renovation and its depth, i.e. the amount of energy savings post renovation, need to be improved. QualDeEPC, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, aims to develop high-quality energy performance assessment and certification in Europe that accelerates deep energy renovation.
Following an EU-wide review of existing EPC schemes and extensive stakeholder discussions, QualDeEPC developed an enhanced EPC scheme by improving seven elements of existing schemes and tested their applicability and convergence potential. A detailed analysis of the schemes at the national and EU levels was conducted (Gokarakonda, Venjakob, et al., 2020). Partners identified gaps, shortcomings (Gokarakonda, Thomas, et al., 2020), and best practices (Kostova, Gokarakonda, et al., 2020). Also based on the national stakeholder workshops, QualDeEPC chose seven priorities for improvement in the proposed enhanced EPC scheme (Kostova, Thomas, et al., 2020; Thomas et al., 2021):
To test the priorities on renovation recommendations and user-friendliness, 98 pilot buildings (61 residential and 37 non-residential) were selected from seven partner countries. For all the pilot buildings, standard EPCs were prepared as per current practice, and enhanced EPCs were prepared using the enhanced EPC scheme. Three more priorities – Online tool, Deep Renovation Network Platforms, and Advertisement Guidelines – were tested using a questionnaire to building owners and other stakeholders.
The results show significant potential for improvement in the existing EPCs and convergence between various member states. In most countries, the number of recommendations and their ambition increased in the enhanced EPCs that provide a clear list of options, and almost 50% of energy savings potential were suggested in the enhanced EPCs. The total energy savings potential in the 98 pilot buildings was 18,3 GWh per year. The building representatives found a proposed feature called ‘traffic light system’ that classified the efficiency of the building envelope and technical systems, and the information on energy and cost savings to be informative. Key barriers to EU-wide convergence include the differences between the minimum legal requirements and the inputs, outputs and calculation procedures in the national calculation tools that make it difficult to present comparable information between various countries.