Brussels, 24 November 2010
Energy performance of buildings: the Commission asks Italy and Spain to ensure full compliance with European legislation
The European Commission today formally requested Italy and Spain to ensure full compliance with European rules on the energy performance of buildings. These rules should in particular enable European citizens to benefit from all relevant information about the buildings which they buy or rent. They also require each Member State to provide for a scheme for the regular inspection of boilers and air-conditioning systems. The Commission’s decisions take the form of reasoned opinions. The Commission may decide to take these Member States to the Court of Justice if no measures are adopted within two months to ensure compliance.
The European legislation is aimed at achieving a significant reduction in the energy consumption of buildings, thus helping to combat global warming and strengthen the EU’s energy security. Large energy savings will also enable households to drastically reduce their bills.
The Commission considers that Italy and Spain have not adopted all the measures provided for in European legislation.
Italian legislation on energy performance certificates for buildings does not comply with the requirements of the Directive. Furthermore, Italy has not adopted any measures regarding the requirement to carry out regular inspections of air-conditioning systems in order to evaluate their performance.
Spain has not yet adopted a methodology for calculating energy performance or a certification scheme that covers all existing buildings. Moreover, the Spanish system for the inspection of boilers does not cover installations which existed before the legislation entered into force.
The infringement proceedings concern the following legislation: Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings (OJ L1, 4.1.2003).
The Directive requires Member States to establish a methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings and to lay down minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and for large existing buildings that are subject to major renovation.
When a building is constructed, sold or rented out, an energy performance certificate must be made available to the prospective buyer or tenant. The certificate will enable the new buyer or tenant to compare and evaluate the building’s energy performance and to get a clearer idea of the energy bills. In addition, the certificate must be accompanied by recommendations for cost-effective improvement of the energy performance.
This certification scheme and a scheme for the regular inspection of boilers and air-conditioning systems have been mandatory since 4 January 2009.
The Directive on the energy efficiency of buildings can be consulted here.
Commission web page on the energy efficiency of buildings:
For more information about the infringement process, see MEMO/10/605.
Current figures on infringements in general can be found at: