Cross Assessment of Energy Certificates in Europe

Call for proposal: Horizon 2020, LC-SC3-B4E-4-2020, Next-generation of Energy Performance Assessment and Certification.

Key challenge

Energy efficiency of buildings plays a paramount role in the European Commission (EC), who aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in Europe through a socially-fair transition in a cost-efficient manner. The role of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to boost building energy renovation is widely considered crucial in the literature. They are deemed fundamental to provide better information to all the actors involved in the building renovation process. What is more, EPCs can act as a link between the different types of actions (institutional, financial, others) that will be needed to accomplish the building renovation goals.

However, the current EPC framework has shown multiple issues. The reliability, accuracy and credibility of EPCs is insufficient. The information provided is too general, their user-friendliness needs to be improved, and they do not include aspects such as thermal comfort or air quality, which are recognised by homeowners to be important indicators. Although EPC databases have been implemented in most countries, the information provided is not, in general, sufficient to develop building renovation policies. The competence of the EPC issuers is seriously questioned, and this is thought to be a contributing factor to the gaps between the calculated and the actual energy demand. As a result, the impact of the EPC on building renovation is limited, and finally, the EPC framework across Europe is very heterogeneous. There are, at least, 30 calculation methodologies (software) used in the EPC schemes across Europe. Such fragmentariness hinders the potential impact EPCs could have on supporting building renovation.

Aim

To address the issues outlined above, crossCert project will create a product testing methodology for the new EPC approaches that will result in improved accuracy and usability of the EPCs, people-centred designs, and increased homogeneity across Europe.

Approach

The crossCert project is based on a bottom-up approach, with the following stages:

  • Cross-testing of current EPCs, including some of the new approaches and concepts developed by other initiatives that seek to improve EPCs (see U-CERT). Participating energy authorities will do the cross-testing using more than 140 buildings in 10 European countries, and creating a public benchmarking repository of test cases;
  • Comparison and analysis of results from different approaches;
  • Elaboration of policy recommendations, which will include potential improvements on the accuracy, usability and harmonisation;
  • Engaging networks and alliances for analysis and outreach.

Beyond accuracy, usability and harmonization, crossCert will use the cross-assessment exercise to conduct research and issue guidelines on:

  • Training and education of certified EPC issuers;
  • EPC promotion and marketing;
  • Adapting EPCs to investor needs;
  • Linking next-generation of EPCs to energy audits, logbooks and Building Renovation Passports;
  • EPC-related one-stop shops (or services) for building renovation.

Project consortium

Duration

  • 1. September 2021 – 31. Avgust 2024

Total eligible costs

  • € 1.997.557,50

Project website