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Overcoming Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Buildings: different types; similar challenges

Europe faces an enormous challenge in finding ways to mitigate climate change and improve energy security, whilst remaining competitive in a global economy.

The huge energy efficiency potential of buildings has been recognised – improved buildings could cut Europe’s total energy use by over 20%, chopping €270 billion off energy bills and reducing CO2 emissions by 460 million tonnes per year.

But buildings come in all shapes and sizes; from residential to commercial to public, buildings vary by function and by tenure situation.

How can we best harness the energy saving potential of such a diverse stock of buildings and occupants?

The optimal solution varies according to the type of building.

Suggested policy packages are

 New buildingsExisting buildings

Residential buildings

Owner-occupied
  • Preferencial loans for significant energy performance improvements combined with energy audits with organisational support
  • Mandatory performance evaluations combined with regulatory benefits fore above-standard performance
  • Preferential loans for significant energy performance improvements combined with energy audits with organisational support
  • Energy upgrading requirements combined with energy audits with organisational support
Private rental
  • Mandatory performance evaluations combined with regulatory benefits for above-standard performance
  • Tax credits for installing energy saving products combined with energy audits with organisational support
  • Tax credits for installing energy-saving products (for landlords) combined with energy audits with organisational support
  • Energy upgrading requirements combined with energy audits with organisational support
Social rental
  • Mandatory performance evaluations combined with regulatory benefits for above-standard performance
  • Energy upgrading requiements combined with energy audits with organisation support

Commercial buildings

Owner-occupied
  • Mandatory performance evaluations combined with regulatory benefits for above standard performance
  • Tax credits for installing energy saving products combined with energy conservation agreements
  • Tax credits for installing energy-saving products combined with energy conservation agreements
  • Energy upgrading requirements
Private rental
  • Mandatory performance evaluations combined with regulatory benefits for above-standard performance
  • Tax credits for installing energy saving products combined with energy conservation agreements
  • Tax credits for installing energy-saving products combined with energy conservation agreements
  • Energy upgrading requirements

Public buildings

Owner-occupied
  • Above-standard requirements for government buildings combined with energy audits width organisational support
  • Above-standard requirements for government buildings combined with energy performance contracting

Click here for a complete analysis of building types, sectors, tenures and regions.