VIENNA, July 10 Austria and Poland face fines
for failing to implement EU law on making buildings more
energy-efficient, the EU executive said on Thursday.
The European Commission is asking the Court of Justice of
the European Union (ECJ) in Luxembourg to apply a penalty of
96,720 euros ($131,900) against Poland and 39,593 euros against
Austria for every day they do not comply with EU law.
The European Union aims to cut Europe's annual primary
energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. Buildings account for
about 40 percent of that consumption and more than a third of EU
carbon-dioxide emissions, it says.
The EU directive says member states must establish and apply
energy performance requirements for all buildings, ensure
certification of buildings' energy performance and require the
regular inspection of heating and air-conditioning systems.
The directive - which was meant to be transposed into
national law by July 2012 - also says member states must ensure
that by 2021 all new buildings are nearly zero-energy, meaning
they use roughly the same amount of energy as they create.
The Commission asked the ECJ to apply similar fines against
Belgium and Finland in April, and is also examining the
situation in Slovenia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy and
the Czech Republic.
If the ECJ finds in favour of the Commission, the daily
penalty will be applied from the date of the court's judgment
until the country has complied with EU law. The court has the
power to decide on the precise amount of any fine.
($1 = 0.7331 euros)
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Susan Fenton)