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[en] Promoting energy efficiency in the building sector is essential if the agreements of the Kyoto Protocol are to be honoured. Different initiatives for energy labelling of highly energy-efficient residential buildings have emerged throughout Europe as an essential method to stimulate market demand, to control grants or to ensure the quality of demonstration projects with excellent energy performance. The paper identifies the barriers and opportunities for the further diffusion of labels for highly energy-efficient houses. A model based on the theory of the diffusion of innovation is developed to analyse perceived attributes of existing European labels. The paper investigates the innovation characteristics of existing labels in Europe, with a focus on advanced countries. The question of compatibility with the development of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is examined in detail. We found that the diffusion of emerging and already existing voluntary European labels for highly energy-efficient houses is needed. Their complexity can be lowered and relative advantage, trialability, observability, and compatibility can be increased. EPBD calculation procedures should be able to receive highly energy-efficient houses. In the framework of the recast of the EPBD, official recognition of existing voluntary labels is recommended.