Two new sets of regulations have been passed aimed at reducing Ireland's emissions and meeting renewables targets. 

The first is comprised of the ‘Part L Amendment’ to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2022, requiring the installation of infrastructure works for electric vehicle (EV) charging.  The new regulations require the installation of ducting for electrical cables for the purpose of installing charging stations for EVs:

  • in respect of multi-unit buildings that are new or undergoing major renovation (where the renovations concerned include the car park or electrical infrastructure of the car park), at each car parking space that is located inside or within the curtilage of the multi-unit building; and
  • in respect of a new building that is a dwelling (other than a multi-unit building), where a parking space is located within the curtilage of the dwelling.

The Part L Amendment applies to works and renovation taking place after 1 November 2022. Full details can be found at S.I. No. 535/2022 - Building Regulations (Part L Amendment) Regulations 2022.

Minister O’Brien spoke of the above regulations, and their intention to “…accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles… to achieve the Government commitment of nearly one million electric vehicles”, referring to the Climate Action Plan commitment to increase the number of EVs and low emitting vehicles to 954,000 by 2030. 

The regulations appear to move things forward a step from the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations of 2021. Those regulations set out certain requirements around EV charging points, including that buildings containing one or more dwellings (new or undergoing major renovation) must have ducting infrastructure (to allow for charging points) for each parking space. However, the provision is limited to buildings with more than 10 car parking spaces. The 2021 regulations transposed aspects of the EU Energy Performance of Building Directive, a revised version of which is nearing finalisation under Fit for 55 reforms – so watch this space!

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The second set of new regulations is Statutory Instrument No. 534/2022 - European Union (District Heating) Regulations 2022, which aim to transpose a provision of the Recast Renewable Energy Directive (the 'Directive'). 

Article 15(4) of the Directive requires that Member States shall require the use of minimum levels of energy from renewable sources in new buildings, and in existing buildings that are subject to major renovation, in so far as technically, functionally and economically feasible. Member States must permit the minimum levels to be fulfilled, inter alia, through efficient district heating and cooling using a significant share of renewable energy and waste heat and cold.

The new regulations enable the fulfilment of these minimum levels through “efficient district heating and cooling”, which means a district heating or cooling system using at least:

  • 50% renewable energy;
  • 50% waste heat;
  • 75% cogenerated heat; or
  • 50% of a combination of such energy and heat.

Full details can be found at S.I. No. 534/2022 - European Union (District Heating) Regulations 2022

Again, more change is expected under Fit for 55, with final agreement on a revised Renewable Energy Directive close to being reached.