Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have backed new rules to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient across the EU.
They have set a goal of near zero energy buildings by 2050, with a view to reducing emissions in the EU by 80% to 85% compared to 1990 levels.
Member states will be required to develop national long term strategies to support cost-saving renovation of public and private buildings.
The updated legislation will introduce electro-mobility requirements for new buildings and those undergoing major renovations, such as the location of at least one recharging point for electric vehicles in buildings with more than 10 parking spaces.
It also introduces the “smart readiness indicator”, a new tool to measure the ability of buildings to improve their operation and interaction with the grid, adapting energy use to the real needs of the occupant, with the European Commission aiming to develop it by the end of 2018.
New buildings and existing ones, where heat generators are replaced, must have automated devices to regulate temperature levels.
Buildings use the most energy in Europe, absorbing 40% of final energy, with three out of four of the 1% of newly-built buildings said to be inefficient.