The European Parliament set up new goals for member states to ensure that buildings in the EU become energy efficient. Countries will be encouraged to replicate the pioneering experiences of low energy housing tested in Germany or Denmark, among others.
This is a pioneering neighbourhood in Germany: solar panels, green roofs, pedestrianised streets for children and low-energy housing. Built at the turn of the century, the eco-district of Vauban is now home to around 6,000 inhabitants. Astrid Mayer lives in one of the 48 energy-plus houses on site. This house is built so as to keep in the heat. Once there is heat in the house, we do not lose it, because there is triple glazing, there is 40cm of insulation. So the heat cannot come out. These homes produce more energy than they expend. An exemplary case that the European Union would like to see developed elsewhere. Buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe's total energy consumption. Some 75% of buildings are considered energy-inefficient. To address this issue, the new law will encourage the renovation of existing buildings, promoting the use of smart technologies such as automation and control systems that will enable buildings to operate efficiently. In Copenhagen, this residential building constructed at the end of the 19th century has just been renovated. With insulation of the exterior walls, new windows, and an efficient ventilation system: it now consumes four times less energy. I think it's a really good example. We have been renovating our houses and apartments in Denmark for decades, because we need to lower our energy consumption. All major renovations and new buildings will be required to integrate recharge stations for electric vehicles. Energy performance ratings of buildings will be standardised across the European Union. This will help optimise energy consumption levels. We have now given member states the tool box with which to make their apartments and housing more energy efficient for the future.