What is the EU standard NZEB (Near Zero Energy Buildings)

What is the EU standard NZEB (Near Zero Energy Buildings)

Nearly zero-energy buildings

The NZEB standard of building is the EU’s end game for buildings in Europe in terms of the amount of delivered energy required to run them. It applies to all buildings and is due to be fully implemented across by law by 2021. The journey started in 2006 and many people will recognise an Energy Performance Certificate or Building Energy Rating depending on which country you live. This process is part of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and was/is the yardstick to bring down primary energy consumption in buildings across those 10 years.


NOTE: It is worth noting the use of the word “primary” when mentioning energy use in buildings. This relates to energy supplied to your building whereas energy you produce on your building has a positive effect on your energy rating.


Nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) have very high energy performance. The low amount of energy that these buildings require comes mostly from renewable sources.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by the end of 2020. All new public buildings must be nearly zero-energy by 2018.

National plans

EU countries have to draw up national plans to increase the number of NZEBs.

EU countries’ nearly zero-energy buildings national plans

Progress report

A European Commission progress report from 2013 found that EU countries had to significantly step up their efforts to take advantage of the opportunities presented by NZEBs.

Progress by EU countries towards nearly zero-energy buildings [COM(2013)483]

Information from individual countries

In 2014, the European Commission examined progress across EU countries towards the NZEB target. This updated information is presented in two templates.

The first template presents information on intermediate targets and policy measures for NZEBs. The second template provides information on the national application of the definition of NZEBs from the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Templates filled out by EU countries

About the Author

Comments are closed.