An EU Renovation Loan can unlock €2 trillion of future energy savings

(EurActiv, 9 Feb 2023) Today, home renovation loans often come at high costs for uncertain results, despite the enormous gains they can offer in terms of energy savings; the time has come to change this and de-risk renovations for homeowners, writes Peter Sweatman.

Peter Sweatman is the Chief Executive of Climate Strategy & Partners. Sweatman launched and led a task group on energy efficiency finance for the G20 and is the rapporteur for the EU Commission and UNEP FI’s Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG).

Today, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy voted on their compromise amends to update the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Saving energy remains the cheapest, safest and cleanest way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel imports, and make Europe more economically, and politically, resilient. And yet buildings need €275 billion of annual investments annually to be fit for a net-zero and fossil energy-independent future.

In retrospect, 2022 was the year of quick energy savings. The EU member states’ 5% peak-hour energy savings, and voluntary 10% reduction in electricity demand is being achieved and exceeded largely through behaviour change. These quick wins were illustrated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in nine simple (free) steps that can save 120 super tankers of oil, and gas for 20 million homes.

Yet properly re-powering Europe, and providing sustained energy independence for Russia by 2027, will require hundreds of billions of new investments in efficiency.

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EurActiv, 9 Feb 2023: An EU Renovation Loan can unlock €2 trillion of future energy savings