Europe needs to improve the energy performance of its buildings. To make real progress, real ambition is needed. New constructions account for little over 1% of the building stock per annum. So, rather than just concentrating on new buildings, the bigger challenge is in moving the existing building stock towards low energy standards,
By prioritising a deep renovation policy pathway, Europe can meet its climate goals, increase green collar employment significantly(1), while at the same time save households billions of Euros on energy bills. A well managed deep renovation policy can also reduce import dependency and help to eliminate fuel poverty(2).
Getting there will require Europe to at least triple its current rate of renovation of 1.2%-1.4% per year. A renovation rate of 3% is considered economically attainable, without shortening the normal renovation cycle and unnecessarily increasing costs for households, businesses or governments.
As renovations are infrequent - a 30-50 year renovation cycle is typical, although it is somewhat shorter for commercial buildings - it is essential that most is made of every refurbishment opportunity.
The average improvement in energy performance needs to be upped from today’s rate of 15%-20%. By using robust and proven energy efficient technology, such as mineral wool insulation, energy savings(3) of over 80% are possible, depending on the age and condition of the building being renovated.
By ensuring that energy efficiency is central to investment in renovation we can change retrofitting from being seen as an expensive burden and make it an economic, social and environmental success story.
Three great reasons to renovate:
(1) Eurima estimates that boosting energy performance in the EU building stock could lead to the creation of 530.000 green European jobs (this figure doesn't take into account deep renovation of the building stock) (the impact of the German KfW schemes. Source: EURIMA: A Policy Framework for Financing Deep Renovations in the EU Building Stock
(2) COM 2006 Energy Efficiency Action Plan http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/consumers/fuel_poverty/fuel_poverty.aspx Source: EURIMA: A Policy Framework for Financing Deep Renovations in the EU Building Stock
(3) Source: EURIMA: A Policy Framework for Financing Deep Renovations in the EU Building Stock
(4) As energy prices increase, so does this amount