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Brussels, 27 June 2007

Energy Performance of Buildings: European Commission takes legal action against Greece, Estonia and Poland

The European Commission today launched court proceedings against Greece for failure to notify its implementing measures on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive[1] adopted in 2002. Reasoned Opinions – the last step before a formal complaint to the Court of Justice is lodged – were also sent to Estonia and Poland for failure to notify the necessary measures. The aim of the Directive is to reduce energy consumption in buildings by laying down national minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and major renovations of larger existing buildings. By failing to implement this important Directive Greece, Estonia and Poland miss an opportunity to realise cost effective energy savings.

The Directive, which should have been implemented by 4 January 2006, requires Member States to establish minimum energy performance standards and energy performance certification schemes for buildings, as well as ensuring that heating and air conditioning installations are regularly inspected to enable performance improvements.

The full and timely implementation of the directive could mean a cost-effective energy saving of 28% in the buildings sector, which is responsible for 40% of Europe's total energy consumption. This potential saving would thus account for more than 10% of Europe's total energy consumption. In the EU's recent Energy Policy for Europe proposal, a target carbon dioxide reduction of 20% and energy saving amounting to 20% by 2020 was set. Contacts:

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