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Internal Market

Energy: Norway in breach of the Directive on the energy performance of buildings

18.7.2011

PR(11)55

The Authority today sent a final warning to Norway for its failure to correctly implement the Directive on the energy efficiency of buildings[1].


The Directive requires that when a building is constructed, sold or rented out, an energy performance certificate must be made available to the prospective buyer or tenant. This certificate will enable him to compare and evaluate the building's energy performance, provide him with information on the energy consumption and contain recommendations for the improvement of the energy performance.

A key requirement of the Directive is that this certification of the building (1) be carried out in an independent manner and (2) be carried out by qualified and/or accredited experts.

The building certification scheme set up by Norway does not comply with these requirements. Firstly, it allows for self-certification by the owner, which does not guarantee that the certification will be carried out in an independent manner. Secondly, for existing residential buildings, it allows certification to be carried out by persons who have no particular qualification or accreditation and thus lack the necessary expertise to produce certificates.

Other shortcomings in the implementation of the Directive, some of which Norway has indicated it will rectify, relate to the exclusion of certain buildings from the certification obligation, beyond what is allowed by the Directive; they also relate to certain rules on inspections of boilers and air-conditioning systems.

This Directive should already have been fully and correctly transposed by Norway by 4 January 2006. Norway's failure to implement the Directive had led the Authority to bring the case to the EFTA Court, which found against Norway[2]. The Authority then issued a letter of formal notice in March 2010, in order for Norway to comply with that jugement. The regulation finally adopted by Norway to implement the Directive does not comply with all its provisions, which is why the Authority is now issuing a final warning to Norway.

Issuing this final warning, a reasoned opinion, is the second stage in infringement proceedings. A letter of formal notice was issued to Norway on 14 July 2010. The Authority can bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mr. Raphaël Meyer
Senior Officer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 44




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