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Deep Renovation

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, 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(1).

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.

Target: Renovate 3% of the building stock each year

  • Is this realistic? Yes
  • Is it technically feasible? Yes
  • Is it a challenge? Yes
  • Do we have any choice? NO!

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 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:

  • Financial - an appropriate energy efficiency retrofit programme would create €1.7 billion a year(2) in energy savings – substantially offsetting the overall annual renovation costs for existing buildings.
  • Social: retrofit programmes could create around 2 million new jobs in Europewhilst radically improving housing conditions and protecting vulnerable sections of society from future increases in energy prices.
  • Environmental: Millions of tonnes of CO2 and fossil fuel can be saved by properly insulating our buildings. Carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 14 million tonnes a year and air pollution could be reduced dramatically.

(1) COM 2006 Energy Efficiency Action Plan
(2) As energy prices increase, so does this amount