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Buildings waste 270 billion EURO a year

Can Energy Ministers fix it? Yes they can!


Bob the BuilderTM, Europe's leading preschool cartoon character, visited Luxembourg and Brussels on the 8th of June 2006 to launch a report on the "Sensitivity Analysis of Cost Effective Climate Protection in the EU Building Stock" and to encourage European leaders to take a can-do attitude to improving energy efficiency in buildings and in doing so to save Europe 270 billion EURO a year in energy costs.

With 40% of Europe's energy used in buildings, everyone across Europe needs to consider how to save this energy. But everyone also wants to know, can we afford to save it - the answer is yes! More to the point, at today's energy prices we cannot afford not to save it, this is the conclusion of a new report carried out on behalf of Eurima by Ecofys, Europe's leading energy consultancy.

Recent dramatic increases in energy prices means that Bob the BuilderTM is not the only one asking how much money could be saved through energy efficiency in buildings. And the answer is that we can save up to 270 billion EURO a year in en energy costs at current energy prices.

With Europe currently using the equivalent of more than 6 million barrels of oil per day to heat its homes and offices these savings are not surprising. What is surprising is that simple measures such as roof and wall insulation could cut this energy use by the equivalent of 3.3 million barrels of oil a day. These savings would also lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 460 million tonnes a year (more than the EU's total Kyoto Commitment) whilst creating up to the equivalent of 530,000* full time jobs.

However, capturing this potential will take clear political signals from the Council and effective policies to back-up any calls for improving the situation. As a start the European Energy Ministers should ask the Commission to:

  • Propose a fully extended Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings, which ensures that all existing buildings are covered by the requirement to improve the energy efficiency of components (e.g. roof insulation) when these components are being renovated.
  • Propose European minimum energy efficiency standards for Europe's buildings based on climatic zones.
  • Develop a clear road map for Europe's buildings, which sets out the steps that need to be taken in terms of regulation, incentives and information, so as to capture the potential from buildings.

For more information on how Europe can improve energy efficiency in buildings, please read EURIMA's contribution to the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency.

Ecofys VI Report
Eurima/Bob the Builder(tm) Leaflet -
270 billion euro a year wasted through energy inefficient buildings can we fix it? Yes we can!
Press Release
Sensitivity - Analysis Ecofys VI