A properly functioning EU Internal Market with free movement of people, goods, services and capital requires rules on state aid to stop governments from subsidising their industries and undercutting competition from elsewhere in the Union. The European Commission has vast powers to make and police the state aid rules and the cornerstone of its control is the notification requirement under Art. 108(3) of the Treaty. Member States must give the Commission advance notice of any plans to grant or alter aid.

The General Block Exemption Regulation of 2014 provides notification exemptions for, inter alia, energy efficiency investment in buildings to the extent that it goes beyond the energy efficiency required by EU standards and that it reduces demand by 20% in renovated buildings or by 10% below nearly-zero for new build. The aid intensity can’t exceed 30% of the eligible costs.

The Commission is now reviewing the GBER to promote the green and digital transition. There are new flexibilities for some forms of real estate but they seem modest in comparison to the imminent increase of EU regulation of energy efficient  building construction and renovation.

Full EPF Secretariat report under epf21-81 of 10.11.2021