Yesterday, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and Deloitte Malta organised a business event focusing on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The EPBD is an EU legislation which governs the energy efficiency standards which buildings must adhere to.
The EU is aiming to revise the current EPBD to bring it further in line with the heightened climate ambition of the EU Green Deal. Some of the most notable proposals include measures addressing the renovation and retrofitting of existing buildings, while also supplying a framework to have new buildings qualifying as zero emission. The final goal is to have a zero-emission building stock by 2050.
Opening the event MBB President Alison Mizzi commented, “The European Commission notes that buildings in the EU account for 40% of final energy consumption, and 36% of all energy-related greenhouse gases. These figures cannot be ignored. The revised directive is addressing this by putting forward measures for both new and existing buildings. New buildings will need to classify as zero-emission potentially as early as 2028. For existing buildings, the initial focus is being placed on the worst performing buildings in the national stock, which will have to be renovated to meet higher performance standards every few years. This means that businesses should assess their current building performance, look into available funding support, and plan improvements accordingly.”
In his speech, Minister for Public Works and Planning Hon. Dr. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi stated that “improvements in the energy performance of our buildings will be a qualitative leap in the real estate sector and will contribute to improved quality of our building stock and the wellbeing of our citizens.”
An overview of the revised EPBD, as well as the outcomes of an MBB-Deloitte joint report into the local implications of this proposal was presented by MBB Manager EU Policy (Sustainability) Gabriel Cassar. Mr. Cassar highlighted how the definition of zero-emission buildings being pushed by the proposed revision would not be implementable in the local context due to geographic limitations and building characteristics.
Representing Deloitte, Director (Financial Advisory) Matthew Xuereb discussed the significant investment effort needed to achieve the goals of the revised EPBD. Mr. Xuereb then presented several innovative financing schemes which could be created to support investments in the renovation and retrofitting of commercial buildings.
The Malta Chamber CEO Dr. Marthese Portelli, MHRA Representative Ing. Patrick Spiteri Staines, and Building & Construction Authority Chief Officer Antoine Bartolo took part in a panel discussion moderated by MBB CEO Joe Tanti. The speakers focused on how the revised EPBD could be properly implemented locally. Great emphasis was placed on the need to adopt an ambitious approach towards the new standards, while also stepping up enforcement measures by authorities. Bridging the financing gap and ensuring that existing support schemes are attractive to businesses was also highlighted as crucial to enable the green transition.
Both the European Parliament and Council of Ministers have issued their respective positions on the revised EPBD. Trialogue negotiations shall now begin to agree on a final text and adopt the proposal. Interested parties are invited to contact the Malta Business Bureau with any queries.
The MBB is the EU business advisory organisation of the Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and is a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network.