EUROPE - The Belgian and UK governments are being taken to task by the European Commission for their failure to implement EU requirements stating how energy performance in buildings is measured.

A statement issued by the EC says court proceedings have been issued against Belgium and UK for failing to fully implement the requirements of the 2002 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which is designed to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency.

More specifically, Belgium has yet to fully explain whether it has completely specified energy performance requirements on buildings along with inspection requirements on boilers and air conditioning, has yet to state how the energy performance of ‘non-residential' buildings will be calculated, as well as what the minimum specifications would be on buildings undergoing major renovations in the Brussels region.

At the same time, the UK has also yet to implement provisions of the directive concerning energy performance certificates, and again has not said what action it is taking in Northern Ireland regarding boilers and air conditioning, as well as implement the directive in UK-controlled Gibraltar, on the Iberian peninsula.

This latest move came just after the Investment Property Databank unveiled proposals to help corporations and public bodies across the globe calculate the environmental impact of every building.

Terms of the EPB directive state member states were required to implement minimum energy performance standards and certificates for buildings by January 4, 2006 and ensure appliances such as air conditioning units are regularly inspected, to enable energy improvements.

All UK homes are required to have an energy performance certificate since December 14, 2007 if they are marketed for sale, but that has yet to transferred to the corporate sector.

Officials at the IPD warned voluntary action should be taken by landlords and tenants now to monitor and reduce the environmental impact of buildings, or face the threat of legislation (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: Environment code to calculate property's carbon emissions)

The EC argues buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe's total energy consumption, so heads of state agreed in March 2007 to implement changes to reduce European carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.

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