Most EU member states have not managed to implement the legislation following the energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD) on January 4th. Only ten of 25 EU member states met the Commission's deadline to transpose this directive into national law. The countries that have transposed the directive fully or partially are: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Lithuania, Belgium, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. Katrien Prins, officer at the European Commission, is disappointed: "Not only because of the lack of legislation right now. Also several countries have indicated that they will use the opportunity within the EPDB to postpone the implementation of the key elements of energy certificates by up to three years." The European Commission has announced the start of infringement procedures at the end of January against governments who do not notify the Commission of their transposition measures. On the basis of the EPBD all new buildings and all existing buildings when they are sold must have an energy certificate that gives an insight into the energy quality of the building. The directive rules that energy performance certificates should be issued for all buildings larger than 1,000 square metres, but the European Commission is currently consulting on expanding it, to cover smaller buildings as well. According to the European insulation manufacturers' association Eurima an extended directive that also covers buildings below 1,000 square metres, could save the EU � 8 bn a year by 2010, rising to � 14.5 bn by 2015. The European Commission will make proposals about possible expansion of the directive in an energy efficiency action plan due in mid-2006.


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