DEPB: Court of Justice will have to decide on the fate of Poland and Austria

Buildings, we all know, consume energy, whether for heating, gas, electricity or water. In order to make life easier for citizens, and also to contribute to the protection of the environment, the European Union has established the directive on the energy performance of buildings (DEPB).

It allows the buyer of a building to be aware its energy consumption. So, the consumer is informed and will benefit from advice to reduce its energy consumption. Now, the construction of buildings is focused toward a policy of environmental protection and energy neutrality. Any European Union member state is supposed to apply this rule on its territory and violations are punished.

For the incomplete transposition of this directive, the states of Poland and Austria are being pursued by the European Commission. These States have failed in their duty to implement the directive of energy performance of buildings. Their mistake has also been to not proceed with regular inspections of heating or air conditioning systems.

As demanded by DEPB, all these measures must be taken by 2012 in order to achieve energy neutral buildings. The European Commission has decided to strike and to pursue Poland and Austria for energy efficiency failure.

The possible sanctions for both states could be:

Poland and Austria are the only European states to be officially pursued for failing to implement DEPB. The EU Commission has suggested a €96.720 and a €38.592 daily fine respectively for Poland and Austria.

This fine was set by considering the gravity of the act and the duration of the offence. In April, for the same offence, Belgium and Finland were summoned before the Court. Other cases are currently being examined including Luxembourg, Italy and Slovenia.