Zero energy buildings in Europe

By 31 December 2018 EU Member States must ensure that all new buildings produce as much energy as they consume on-site. The idea is to introduce more efficient insulation for buildings to reduce the energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energy on-site.

Existing buildings need to be upgraded in energy performance when undergoing renovations which cost more than 20% of their value or cover over a quarter of its surface would have to meet national energy efficiency requirements.

Finally, the proposal calls for the installation of smart meters. These smart meters should be installed in all new zero energy buildings, as well as when renovating the old ones.

The following buildings are excluded from these requirements: small houses (up to 50m2), buildings for religious activities and temporary buildings used for less than 18 months. Also buildings with low energy demand such as workshops and agricultural buildings and historic buildings where an energy-efficiency measure would “unacceptably alter their character”.