On March 30th, the U-CERT team invited six guest representatives of the Next Generation EPCertficates cluster of seven H2020 projects to summarise their early results and findings on how different stakeholders relate to energy performance certificates and how they would envision them evolving. The event was visited by more than 80 participants who joined the ten panellists from BEUC and the Next Gen EPCs H2020 projects.
Wuppertal Institute representative Maike Venjakob contributed as guest keynote speaker to convey the key objectives of QualDeEPC and joined the expert discussion on the core questions of the event e.g., which initial intentions became reality after more than ten years of having EPCs present in the national markets of EU’s member states, how EPCs are perceived by people ranging from homeowners, policy makers to EPCS scheme developers and what their real needs and expectations are.
Within the different projects the scientists have talked with experts about involving users in the design and development of EPCs. Nevertheless, reality is that up to now end users and experts were not as much included in the process, as might be necessary.
“How do we set the limits of EPCs? Where do EPCs end and where do other concepts like building logbooks start?” – Jure Vetršek, U-CERT
Expert feedback shows that EPCs should be limited e.g., to end users as they already have the need to know their real energy consumption. However, what ePANACEA has learned from interviews is that this approach does not fit to the EPC. Since it is not allowed to compare buildings with each other this would rather be a comparison of the user behaviour instead of the buildings.
“Expert recommendation is, to separate the EPC-scheme from a tool to provide feedback about real energy consumption” – Laura Muhr, ePANACEA
The aim should also be to not include additional information as to not overwhelm end users even more. EPCs are already very complex and, in some countries, blown out of proportion. The concept should be to not tire people while at the same time providing the right and helpful information. Where the exact limit is still needs to be discussed and defined.
“Should [an EPC] give guidance in the moment when there is a real estate transaction? Should this be the main starting point or should it […] be giving more advice regarding renovation activities, even regarding energy related behaviour?” – Lukas Kranzl, X-tendo
Which extend have EPCs actually and what is their primary objective? This issue has also been a topic at the X-tendo project. At least for some functionalities, Kranzl recommends limiting the scope of the EPCs. For example, to the case of real estate transaction and use of other instruments like building passports and logbooks.
Simona D’Oca from U-CERT, summarised that one of the conclusions from this debate is, that at this point there are no actual limits to the definition of an EPC. A good starting point would be to adopt an approach that fits the purpose and the different users by providing different elements of the energy performance certificates.
You can follow the complete discussion in the web workshop recordings:
Presentations: Building Energy Performance Certificates for the people