How the EU plans to boost the development of home EV charging

3 min read
Jun 14, 2024 10:26:11 AM
To respond to the climate emergency, the real estate sector must reinvent itself and embrace decarbonisation to reduce its CO2 emissions. What are the latest measures taken by the European Union to speed up the transition? 
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the operations of buildings account for over 26% of the total global energy-related emissions generated. This estimate includes the carbon footprint of building materials, as well as heating, cooling and lighting. In Europe specifically, buildings are the largest energy consumer.
European regulations are becoming increasingly stricter to speed up the process of decarbonisation, especially targeting the building sector. The EU plans to meet the target of reducing emissions of the sector by 6% per year by modernising buildings (including insulation, glazing, and ventilation) and using renewable energies and sustainable materials in construction.
Renovating buildings to make them more energy-efficient also helps to reduce energy bills by cutting electricity consumption. This can reduce energy poverty and make Europe more energy-independent.  

New push for energy efficiency in real estate 

The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was revised in early 2024 to boost buildings’ energy performance. The EPBD aims to promote renovation, support better air quality, digitalise energy systems for buildings, and roll out sustainable mobility infrastructure.
For residential buildings, Member States will have to decrease the average energy performance of their residential building stock by at least 16% by 2030 compared to 2020 and by 20% to 22% by 2035. For non-residential buildings, 16% of the buildings with the worst energy performance will have to be renovated by 2030 and 26% by 2033.
The EU Member States have two years to adopt the EPBD into their own national legislation.

What’s expected from Member States

The EPBD introduces many measures. To name a few:
  • Wherever technically feasible, EU countries should deploy solar panels on residential, public and non-residential buildings by 2030 and ensure that all buildings are ready for solar installations.
  • Member States will have to eliminate fossil-fuel heating and cooling systems by 2040, and subsidies for stand-alone fossil-fuel boilers will be prohibited from 2025.
  • Member States should support the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in buildings, enabling smart charging and removing barriers for charge point installation.
Let’s look more into the last one.

Development of home charging 

So far, the lack of access to EV charging in apartment buildings has hindered the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. 

The EPBD mandates that residential buildings and places open to the public (shopping centres, offices, etc.) with parking facilities must be equipped with EV charging stations. 

Until now, most house owners have had an advantage in using private indoor or outdoor parking lots. The EPBD attempts to make EV charging easier for tenants of apartment buildings.

A survey by a French electricity utility Enedis in 2022 showed that 88% of those living in a house charged their vehicles mainly at home, compared with just 49% of those living in apartments. 
Private home charging is essential for reducing the cost of ownership for EV owners. Home charging is done at the energy supplier’s rate, and it has the biggest advantage during off-peak hours (whereas public recharging is more expensive). Not to forget, overnight charging is also more practical. 

Charging infrastructure in new buildings 

It’s much easier to plan for charging infrastructure installation when building a new building than renovating existing buildings that didn’t consider EV charging in the planning phase.
The cost of pre-wiring a building’s parking lot at the time of construction is nine times less than that of retrofitting an existing building’s parking lot.
The EPBD requires pre-cabling for at least 50% of parking spaces in new buildings with more than three parking spaces. 
The charging stations must have sufficient power to enable simultaneous use. They must also be capable of smart and bidirectional charging.

Removing the final obstacles with the ‘Right to plug’ 

The need for a dedicated parking space, the cost of installation, or the need to obtain the consent of the building owner or manager to install a charging station discourages many people living in apartment buildings from switching to electric.
Introducing the “Right to plug” means that building owners or managers must approve tenant charger installation requests. This should remove regulatory obstacles, such as the need to obtain the consent of the owner (for tenants) or the co-owners association and make it easier for those living in apartment buildings to install home chargers.

Towards greater energy efficiency in buildings 

In the future, buildings must also be equipped with meters and monitoring systems to track energy consumption, enabling more efficient energy management. Intelligent algorithms that aim to help to better manage energy performance by analysing usage data collected from sensors or electricity meters are being developed to optimise building operations. These tools will enable preventative building management. 
Want to learn more about the EV market's current situation and future direction? Dive into our report on the state of the sector.
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