Energy Efficiency

Five EU member states urged to capitalize on building renovation strategies to improve energy efficiency

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Published

September 6, 2018

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Published:

September 6, 2018

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Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Romania, and Slovenia have only partially met the objectives of Article 4 of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, missing the opportunity to deliver an array of benefits through building renovation, according to a report recently published by the Horizon 2020 project EmBuild.

“There is clearly a missed opportunity as building renovation has the potential to generate direct benefits for residents, businesses and public sector bodies in the form of lower energy bills, better comfort, reduced fuel poverty and increased productivity. Equally, societal benefits such as higher energy security, improved air quality and economic stimulus are not realized,” reads a press release from EmBuild.

Developing and implementing national renovation strategies by EU member states is required by the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, adopted in 2012, while Article 4 of the directive asked national governments to present a first version of their renovation strategy to the European Commission in April 2014, to be updated every three years, EmBuild recalled.

Besides assessing the compliance of the five countries’ updated renovation strategies with the directive, the report also investigates approaches to tackling barriers to the renovation of public buildings, support for municipalities, and other relevant areas including funding and financing support, and engagement with stakeholders, according to the press release.

Lack of long-term strategic vision of most concern

The five countries’ strategies have improved in some areas and new measures have been put in place, but little has been done to significantly improve the 2014 strategies and consequently increase the rate and quality of renovation at a pace that would significantly help achieve the EU 2030 targets and the Paris commitment. Of most concern is the lack of a long-term strategic vision and a roadmap of policies and measures to mobilize investment in the renovation of the national building stocks, warns EmBuild.

The renovation of public buildings, as required by the directive, remains a significant challenge and is only addressed to a very limited extent, according to the press release.

The analysis concludes that developing a renovation strategy is still not regarded by all governments as a strategic exercise and that building renovation remains a low policy priority in all countries.

The EmBuild consortium comprises NALAS, BPIE, and 8 national partners from 6 countries – EnEffect (Bulgaria), REGEA (Croatia), GIZ, eza!, and Technical University of Munich (Germany), AE3R (Romania), University of Belgrade (Serbia), and KSSENA (Slovenia), according to the press release.

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