Yesterday and today, IRI UL is in Zaragoza, Spain, for a meeting of the crossCert project in the company of colleagues from 10 European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Spain, and the UK.
The project focuses on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for buildings. As already noted in the U-CERT project, EPCs represent one of the key tools at EU level and beyond to promote the green transition, in particular in the area of guiding and stimulating building renovation.
Despite the general belief that EPCs are necessary and useful, in practice we observe a number of weaknesses in the existing system that allows for their existence and use:
- Low awareness: Many property owners and tenants are not aware of the importance of EPC and the benefits that EPC implies in terms of energy savings.
- Lack of enforcement: Laws and regulations concerning energy use in buildings are often not consistently or adequately enforced, undermining their effectiveness in promoting energy efficiency.
- Inaccuracy in EPC production: EPC production is based on assumptions and calculations which, despite the expertise of the producers, sometimes lead to inaccuracies in the assessment of the energy performance of the building.
- Cost: The cost of producing an EPC can be a barrier for property owners, especially those who own a large number of properties.
- Complexity: The process of producing an EPC is relatively abstract and basically intended for professional use, which in practice leads to many property owners finding it difficult to understand the technical language used in the documents.
The crossCert consortium addresses these shortcomings from a technical perspective, specifically by benchmarking the EPC production methodologies in the countries involved in the project. In addition, the project seeks to improve EPCs from a socio-cultural perspective, specifically by analysing the experience with existing EPCs, the needs, opinions and good practices concerning their production and use.