Banks to play key role in the delivery of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Thursday 21st March – Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) was delighted to welcome MEP Sean Kelly to today’s seminar Energy Efficient Buildings reaching National and European Goals where he delivered the keynote address on the Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD). The revised EPBD directive, which was recently adopted by the European Parliament, sets out new and more ambitious energy performance requirements for new and renovated buildings in the EU, namely, that all new buildings should be zero-emission by 2030, and that existing building stock should be transformed into zero-emission buildings by 2050.

MEP Kelly stated: “After almost two years of work, the European Parliament has passed a sensible compromise on the EPBD that appropriately balances increasing the energy performance of buildings on one hand, while ensuring cost-effectiveness and affordability on the other. Through the likes of One-Stop-Shops and national renovation passport schemes, that will detail the steps needed for a building to reach its highest energy rating, the EPBD will make it easier for people to renovate their homes, ensuring our buildings consume less energy and rely on cheaper and greener renewable sources.”

Outlining the key role of banks in rolling out the directive, Mr Kelly added: “However, the European Commission estimates there is a funding gap of €214 billion a year for green financing for residential buildings. It’s clear that in order to scale up renovations and reach our targets we will need a combination of measures including European incentives, government grants and private finance and Irish banks will play a critical role in this regard.”

The opening address was followed by a presentation from Pavol Konicky, Senior Loan Officer, European Investment Bank and a panel discussion with Josephine Maguire of the National Retrofitting Office, SEAI and representatives from the Irish domestic banks.

Louise O’Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking, BPFI added “BPFI and our members welcome the introduction of the EPBD, which will provide policy certainty for lenders as they further develop green products and services that support their customers to enhance the energy performance of their buildings. The recent announcement of the Home Energy Loan Upgrade Scheme, funded by the European Investment Bank, and facilitated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, has also been a welcome initiative to help support customers with low interest loans to help scale up the retrofitting of residential properties. However, we expect that the EPBD, once implemented, will help prompt further consumer demand, enabling banks to offer a wider range of products and services tailored to clients’ needs, particularly those seeking finance for energy-efficient building projects.”   

The European Parliament held its final vote on the EPBD on March 12th 2024. Implementation is expected to begin in 2026.