The members of the European Parliament (EP) have voted for maximising the energy efficiency potential of the EU building stock, calling on the European Commission to develop consistent measures to stimulate a faster and deeper renovation of buildings.
Buildings consume 40 percent of all energy in the EU and emit 36 percent of the region’s CO₂, being the largest single energy consumer and having significant potential in reducing energy demand.
“Today’s vote on energy efficiency in buildings sends the right signal to the European Commission and to all Member States that we have to move fast from ambition to action for a massive renovation wave of our buildings. We need to see a significant increase in both the rate and depth of renovations to reduce the energy demand, phasing out the use of fossil fuels and moving towards a 100% renewable energy system. The Parliament understood that becoming climate neutral cannot be done without addressing buildings”, said Buildings Policy Coordinator of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Edoardo Concari Coppola.
Deep renovation rates are still too low across the EU and policy measures so far have fallen short of the necessary ambition to achieve a highly energy-efficient and fully decarbonised building stock in line with the Paris Agreement goal.
The Commission must tighten the regulatory framework and introduce minimum energy performance standards, targeting the worst-performing buildings. This framework should foresee adequate financial and technical support to overcome implementation barriers, including help for low-income households.
“Building renovation combined with green stimuli measures are a sure way of restarting the economy after the COVID crisis. The Renovation Wave initiative expected from the Commission must ensure buildings do their share in the effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C”, added Concari Coppola.
The Report on maximising the energy efficiency potential of the EU building stock adopted in Plenary by the EP will feed into the policy discussions on the Renovation Wave Initiative, expected from the European Commission in mid-October.
 The civil-society led energy scenario (Paris Agreement Compatible (PAC) scenario) shows that increasing the annual renovation rate of the EU’s building stock from 1% to 3% is crucial for reducing the building sector’s energy demand by roughly two thirds between 2015 and 2050. www.pac-scenarios.eu
Cristina Dascalu, communications coordinator, email@example.com