Energy Renovation: The Trump Card for the New Start for Europe

Yamina SAHEB
Katalin BÓDIS
Sándor SZABÓ
Strahil PANEV
Policies and Targets

Energy renovation is instrumental for reaching the EU 2020 goals. It has implications for growth and jobs, energy and climate and cohesion policies. Renovating existing buildings is a "win-win" option for the EU economy. In 2011, specialised construction activities that include renovation work and energy retrofits employed three times as many people as energy supply to meet the needs of buildings for the same value added.

The phasing-out of inefficient buildings from the European building stock requires an EU renovation plan. To be successful, this plan should incorporate the existing EU policy frameworks for growth and jobs, energy and climate and those related to cohesion policies into one single framework targeting the modernisation of the overall value chain of the building sector.

Converting Europe's building stock from being an energy waster to being an energy producer would require a clear, coherent and decentralised governance structure including an Energy Renovation Facilitator and a Risk Sharing Pool cascaded at different levels of governance. Mechanisms to develop projects at scale by bundling smaller projects and to create cluster of accredited companies specialised in energy renovation would also be needed. Utility data must be unlocked and the cost of energy renovation made more transparent so that investment needs could be better assessed.

A regional approach prioritising less developed regions, especially those in Member States with per capita GDPs below the EU average, is fundamental to ensuring that all EU citizens can live in comfortable homes and limiting the impact of inefficient houses on public finances and health.
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