Energy efficiency: new EU rules for buildings and homes 


Improving the energy efficiency of buildings could cut heating bills as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Watch our video to learn more.

From 1 January 2021 all new buildings in the EU should use little or no energy for heating, cooling or hot water. The EU rules concerning this obligation also introduce an energy certification for buildings so that owners or tenants can compare and assess the energy performance. These rules are part of the EU's push to promote clean energy.


During the plenary session in April 2018, MEPs voted in favour of proposals to update these rules. The main changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings directive are:

  • EU countries will have to prepare national long-term strategies to support the renovation of buildings.  The aim is that by 2050 buildings in the EU hardly use any energy.
  • The use of smart technologies will need to be encouraged to reduce energy consumption.
  • New buildings will be required to have recharging points for electric cars in parking spaces


Danish EPP member Bendt Bendtsen, who was responsible for steering the updated rules through Parliament, said: “We have now given member states the tool box with which to make their apartments and housing more energy efficient for the future.”

EU measures to promote cleaner energy also target renewables and the energy efficiency of electric devices.