Buildings crucial for energy security, jobs, climate and growth
At Renovate Europe’s fourth Annual High-Level Conference, held in Brussels on 5th November, the message to the new Commission who took office this week was clear: Deep Renovation of the building stock in the EU must be the number 1 priority of the Juncker Commission.
Fresh reports presented at REDay2014 demonstrated the newly researched multiple benefits of building renovations (IEA Report ‘Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency’) as well as the significant economic impact of the buildings sector in the EU (JRC Report on the Economic Impact of the Construction Sector).
Not only are the economics right. Experience shows an even greater success and appetite for doing more. City representatives and project leaders in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy provided evidence at REDay2014 of successful renovation projects which are financially viable and produce local jobs, reduced energy demand and healthier homes.
“Individual renovation projects have shown over and over that it is possible to reduce the energy demand in buildings by more than 80 % in a cost-effective manner,” explained Adrian Joyce, Renovate Europe Campaign Director. “Now we need to focus our attention on how to upscale ambitious energy renovation of the existing building stock and for this we need a political drive.”
Unfortunately, National Governments have chosen NOT to maximize on the huge energy savings and economic opportunities in the building sector. As explained by Oliver Rapf from BPIE, Member States have failed to implement ambitious Renovation Roadmaps (Article 4 of the EED), and to develop strong collaborative platforms to address renovation, thereby failing to provide the holistic vision and market certainty needed to unlock investment.
Despite the significant contribution that buildings can make towards reducing energy imports, a clear strategy to tackle energy waste in buildings is also absent from both the 2030 Energy & Climate Package, and the European Energy Security Strategy.
In the October Council conclusions, Member States committed to address priority sectors in which significant energy efficiency gains can be reaped.
“At the last European Council, EU Heads of State provided a clear mandate for the Commission to take policy action in those sectors with greatest potential for energy savings” said Jan te Bos, Director General of Eurima, Gold Sponsor of REDay2014. “Today’s conference once again demonstrates that buildings must be first in line, and that ambitious policies for the deep renovation of our building stock will –in addition- deliver more jobs, more comfort, more energy security, less energy poverty and less C02 emissions. We count on the new Commission to acknowledge this reality and take up the challenge with immediate, ambitious policy proposals on buildings”.
In tackling buildings as the key priority sector, the Commission and Member States would benefit from the support of 80 MEPs from across the political spectrum who have already signed the Renovate Europe Manifesto to STOP Energy waste in buildings.
Source: Renovate Europe