Glass for Europe: compromise on the Energy Efficiency Directive

Glass for Europe, the trade association for Europe’s manufacturers of flat glass, has released its comments on the trilogue agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive, acknowledging that the Council has made small progress on building renovation. According to Glass for Europe, the Energy Efficiency Directive does not fully address the scale of the building renovation challenge.

Glass for Europe takes note of the trilogue agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive endorsed by the Council in COREPER.
Glass for Europe acknowledges that the Council has made small progress on building renovation. The requirement for Member States to establish long-term strategies to improve the energy performance of the building stock through the deep renovation of commercial and residential buildings is welcomed. Similarly, the willingness shown by the co-legislators to set-up financial facilities to achieve the objective of the directive are also seen positively by the flat glass industry. Nonetheless, Glass for Europe strongly deplores the minimal level of requirement imposed on Member States to renovate public buildings. This requirement has been narrowed to the extent that it no longer covers a tangible pool of buildings.
“As regards building renovation, the Energy Efficiency Directive is another example of an EU directive which provides a praiseworthy long-term objective but which lacks EU-wide stringent measures that would provide certainty and confidence for industrial actors to mobilize resources” says Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe. “In this context, Member states will have a major responsibility to set up the national strategies and to couple them with concrete tangible measures. This is essential to realize the energy saving potential in the building sector and to seize this golden opportunity to foster economic recovery while engaging the transition to a low-carbon economy,” he added.
The Energy Efficiency Directive does not fully address the scale of the building renovation challenge. Glass for Europe therefore calls on the European Commission to keep building renovation high on the political agenda. Future policy initiatives such as the on-going mid-term review of Europe’s Flagship Initiative on Industrial Policy and the upcoming Communication on the Sustainable Competitiveness of the Construction sector must be used to address shortfalls.
Glass for Europe is the trade association for Europe’s manufacturers of flat glass. Flat glass is the material that goes into a variety of end-products and primarily in windows and façades for buildings, windscreens and windows for automotive and transport as well as glass covers, connectors and mirrors for solar-energy equipment. Flat glass is also used for many other applications such as furniture, electronics, appliances, etc.
Glass for Europe has four members: AGC Glass Europe, NSG-Group, Saint-Gobain Glass and Sisecam-Trakya Cam and works in association with Guardian. Altogether, these five companies represent 90% of Europe’s flat glass production.
Glass for Europe firmly believes that state-of-the-art glass can play a vital role in achieving the EU’s energy saving targets and promotes ambitious mechanisms to support the market uptake of energy-efficient glass technologies.