EU building energy law enters final straight

New compromise text "has approval of key MEPs", could be finalised before year's end

Plans for mandatory energy certificates to accompany the sale and rent of all EU buildings are set to become law by 2008 at the latest according to the most recent wording of a future EU directive. The draft text is understood to have been agreed both by governments and key European parliament representatives, and could enter into force later this year.

The law will introduce harmonised EU energy auditing procedures and require countries to fix binding minimum energy efficiency targets for buildings. No EU minimum targets have been proposed. Because of this, the energy certificates - outlining a building's energy performance to potential buyers and tenants - are seen as more powerful potential drivers of efficiency.

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