What changes will the Union’s actions in the area of the Union Construction Law provide?

Patrycja Rejnowicz-Janowska

The European Union (hereafter , “EU”) is stepping up efforts to introduce solutions designed to have a positive impact on the environment. One piece of legislation in this area is Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 19, 2010. on the energy performance of buildings (hereinafter ,Directive 2010/31/EU), which is also commonly referred to as the EU construction law. The main idea behind the adoption of this directive was to improve the energy performance of buildings in the EU, taking into account climatic and local conditions. It is worth noting at this point that the aforementioned. The directive was enacted as one component of the “Fit for 55” package[1], which aims for the EU to achieve at least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. (D) relative to 1990 levels.

In 2018. there has been an amendment to Directive 2010/31/EU on the basis of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2018/844 of May 30, 2018. amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency (hereinafter ” Amending Directive 2018/844“), under which member states committed to preparing long-term strategies for the renovation of residential and non-residential buildings, resulting in high energy efficiency and low-carbon performance by 2050.

Poland is the only country in the EU has not yet introduced energy classes for residential buildings[2], and more planned changes to the “EU construction law” are already on the horizon. In March 2023, The European Parliament has taken a position approving the changes[3], which include such demands as, in particular, zero-emission of buildings as early as 2028, and buildings owned by public institutions as early as 2026, the need for new buildings to be equipped with photovoltaic installations as of 2028, and the phasing out of fossil fuel heating by 2035.

At the end of 2023, or more precisely on December 7, an agreement was reached by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council (EU) and the European Commission on amendments to Directive 2010/31/EU[4]. The agreement still has to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council (EU) and then published in the Official Journal of the European Union to enter into force. Currently, at January 23, 2024. A vote is scheduled in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy[5].

The agreement eases some of the European Parliament’s earlier findings on the zero-carbon performance of buildings here or on phasing out fossil fuel heating. For example, the zero-carbon performance of new buildings for public buildings is to be achieved from January 1, 2028, and all other new buildings from January 1, 2030. – according to the earlier European Parliament, it was to be from January 1, 2026, respectively. and January 1, 2028. Whereas A requirement to phase out fossil fuel heating ultimately by 2035. was amended to 2040 r. Other areas, such as the obligation to use photovoltaic installations, have been tightened. Originally planned The deadline for equipping new buildings with photovoltaic technology has been changed from 2028. for 2027[6].

From the above, it is indisputable that the EU aims to significantly reduce emissions and energy consumption of all buildings, which currently account for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption[7]. The focus is primarily on higher energy efficiency in buildings and the use of more energy from renewable sources.

In the opinion of the lawyers of Jabłoński Kozminski Law Firm, the amendments to Directive 2010/31/EU can bring many desirable results, in particular, they can contribute to the following reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the extent of energy poverty across the EU, or boosting the scale of building renovations. Moving away from heating with fossil fuels is a powerful step toward decarbonizing buildings and popularizing renewable energy sources.

In the opinion of Pawel Sparrow, an expert in the field of the industry. EU subsidies from PORT PC, amendments to Directive 2010/31/EU, including, in particular, boosting the renovation of low-energy-efficient buildings is an opportunity to significantly reduce energy costs and improve living standards for many families[8].

The challenges facing Poland (which are imposed by the amendments to Directive 2010/31/EU) are significant. In the long run, however, they can bring tangible benefits to citizens, the economy or the environment.

[1] Ready for 55 package – EU plans green transformation – Consilium (europa.eu),
Accessed 17.01.2024.

[2] J. Spiller, Changes to the EPBD are getting closer. The European Parliament has adopted its position, March 15, 2023, accessed January 17, 2024. – Changes to the EPBD are getting closer. The European Parliament has adopted its position (now-environment.co.uk)

[3] M. Bodzioch, New EPBD. When will it come into effect?, 16.03.2023, accessed 17.01.2024. – New EPBD. When will it come into effect? ” Thermomodernisation

[4] Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland – EU Press Release on the Agreement dated 7.12.2023 (izbaarchitektow.pl), accessed 17.01.2024.

[5] A. Roguski, EU crusade for energy efficiency, 08.12.2023, accessed 17.01.2024. – EU crusade for energy efficiency – rp.pl

[6] New rules to boost energy performance of buildings (europa.eu), accessed 17.01.2024.

[7] Ibid.

[8] M. Adamski, Starting in 2028. All new buildings to be zero-emission, 14.03.2023, accessed 17.01.2024. – European Parliament: starting in 2028. All new buildings in EU to be zero-emission – rp.pl


Patrycja Rejnowicz-Janowska
Advocate, Senior Associate+48 22 416 60 04patrycja.rejnowicz-janowska@jklaw.pl

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