Energy performance label: Finnish cities support the Display label and call for clearer rules for the voluntary EU scheme

The EU campaign Display, launched as early as in 2004, is an information tool to raise the public awareness. Designed by energy experts from European cities and based on operational rating and easy to understand, the certificate displays the energy, water and climate performance of a building. This Display poster combined with further awareness-raising activities involving building users has proven very successful in increasing behaviour change of building users and stimulating renovation in both public and privately-owned buildings.

A petition to support the Display label
In a petition addressed to the European Parliament last week, the cities of Helsinki, Tampere and Espoo as well as the Finnish Association of Local Authorities call for the recognition of the Display label as a valuable EU energy performance certificate that is fully in line with the EPBD directive. This label “meets the requirements of the directive. It is quick and inexpensive to make (…), visually familiar and impressive (…) and known in the majority of EU member states” they explain.

The petition is also an opportunity for European cities to support Display to become the common voluntary European energy certification for non-residential buildings. In the 2010 recast of the Directive on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD), the European Commission was required to design a common voluntary European energy certification for non-residential buildings. However, its introduction by 2016 still remains uncertain as Member States to date have not reached an agreement on a common scheme.

The shortcomings of the EPBD for public authorities
The European Performance of Buildings Directive, adopted in 2002, and that entered into force over the last decade, introduced energy performance certificates for the sale, rental and construction of residential and commercial buildings in order to make energy consumption more visible and stimulate energy efficient building renovation. The public sector was expected to take the lead by displaying energy certificates in “prominent” places in public buildings. First this was done by hundreds of European local authorities thanks to the Display campaign and then, when national governments were ready, via the official national or regional certificates. However, as each country or region was responsible for choosing their methodology, no common calculation method was designed resulting in diverse methods, costs and reliability.

For the City of Helsinki, “Display city” from the very beginning, for example, to implement their National methodology would mean approximately €2-2.5 million of additional costs.

Supporting the petition
Energy Cities invites European cities and stakeholders in the building sector to sign the petition (soon to be published on the petitions portal of the European Parliament). For more information, you can contact Peter Schilken from Energy Cities ( and Ulla Soitinaho from the city of Helsinki (

Letter issued by Finnish cities to the European Parliament
Petition: “We appeal to the European Parliament to accept the Display label for use as an energy performance certificate in accordance with Directive 2010/31/EU for existing public buildings within the Member States of the EU. […]

Download: PDF – 2.8 Mb



Ian Turner

Publication date

March 31, 2016

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