New or renovated buildings must be equipped with electric car charging facilities after a bill was passed by the government on Thursday.
The requirements to install charging facilities for electric cars at all new buildings, as well as extensively renovated ones, will take effect from spring 2021 and apply to buildings planned to accommodate over ten parking spaces.
Non-residential buildings belonging to businesses must equip at least one-fifth of their parking spaces with charging cables and install at least one charging station. With regard to residential buildings, all parking spaces must be equipped with charging cables.
All existing non-residential buildings with over 20 parking spaces must be equipped with at least one charging station by 2025, regardless of whether the building has been renovated or not.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas said: "Electric vehicles play an important part in switching to clean energy and their extensive introduction will make air cleaner in heavy traffic areas. In order to promote the introduction of electric cars in our state, the corresponding prerequisites must be fulfilled so that using [electric vehicles] would be as convenient as possible,"
He added: "Shopping malls and gas stations, for instance, have already begun voluntarily installing charging facilities in their parking lots, but there is a lot more than can be done in this area."
However, Aas noted that installing charging stations alone is not enough to pursue climate neutrality.
"In order to meet this goal, wider electrification of transport must be combined with increased used of renewable energy," he said.
The energy efficiency bill is a part of the EU energy performance of buildings directive. The purpose of the directive is to prioritize energy efficiency and ensure that renewable energy should gain leadership in the energy sector.
The EU has taken on an obligation to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases at least 40 percent by 2030, compared with the level on 1990, and to increase the share of renewable energy in energy consumption.
The existing building stock accounts for 40 percent of EU member states' final energy consumption and 36 percent of their greenhouse gas emissions. The respective figures are even higher in Estonia with buildings using up 50 percent of final energy consumption.
Editor: Helen Wright