EU study supports increased building renovation


EU countries must “seriously ramp up” building renovations within the next 10 years, the director of the EU’s decarbonisation body has stated. The comment comes as a report released today states that improved insulation of EU residential buildings would result in a significant reduction of energy demand for heating in buildings (44% compared to 2020), gas savings of 46%, heating oil savings of 44% and coal savings of 48%. The report was published by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).

“The results speak for themselves,” said Oliver Rapf, BPIE’s executive director. “Buildings must be treated as vital infrastructure contributing to EU energy security and climate neutrality. Deep renovation should be one of the EU’s highest priorities facing the energy crisis.”

According to the report, achieving a stable 2% renovation rate would not be enough to achieve EU climate goals and significantly contribute to energy independence. In this scenario, 30% of buildings would be left unrenovated by the middle of the century, and 235 TWh of potential final energy savings would be lost.

“Building renovation activity must seriously ramp up in this decade,” Rapf added. “Negotiations in the coming months should agree renovation requirements backed by attractive financial support for all who need it.”

The report’s conclusions call on EU bodies to require that financial programmes and advisory services prioritise projects achieving deep renovations. Minimum energy performance standards should focus on worst-performing buildings first, the report’s authors conclude, and all renovations should result in buildings from the worst-performing categories being upgraded so that they are no longer in those categories. Today’s report echoes the findings of a 2021 study published by the Federation of Master Builders.

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