BPIE action plan calls for demand-side measures in the EU REPowerEU strategy

(eceee news, 13 May 2022) As the EU’s REPowerEU Energy Savings Plan is expected, BPIE calls for action on demand-side measures. The BPIE action plan puts particular emphasis on the need to reduce the energy demand in the building sector.

On 8 March, the European Commission published its REPowerEU Communication for joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy on 8 March. It aims to outline a path for the EU to decrease its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by focusing on securing access to energy, from renewable sources or fossil fuels from suppliers other than Russia.

To follow up the REPowerEU Communication, the Commission is expected to issue the REPowerEU Action Plan, which would include a specific energy savings action plan. The EU has a historic choice to make: to put us on a pathway compatible with the 1.5°C climate scenario and secure true energy independence, BPIE, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, argues.

To achieve the needed decarbonisation of buildings, decision makers must approach the problem from the perspective of not only removing fossil gas from the system, but of thinking about creating a more integrated energy system overall, BPIE claims. Starting with end-use efficiency and demand response measures allows for the needed demand reduction and flexibility possibilities.

The BPIE paper provides the reasons why energy savings must be prioritised, especially in the buildings sector. It also lists actionable and concrete ideas for measures and policies that should be put in place and implemented in the next two to three years, suggesting how to concretely organise to deliver those measures. 

The proposed policies and measures should deliver (substantial) energy savings, ideally within an 18-month timeframe, according to BPIE. Meanwhile it should pave the way for future energy savings to ensure coherence with longer- term climate ambition.

The short-term measures are divided into three different ‘clusters’ of policies and measures.

  • The first cluster focuses on behavioural changes and ‘quick fixes’ that can be taken immediately and scaled at EU level.
  • The second cluster argues for fast rollout of renovation programmes, including energy management systems, insulation of attics and roofs and scaling up serial renovation programmes.
  • The third cluster pushes for a fast switch to renewable heating options

The longer-term measures are broken down into four clusters.

  • First, the European Commission must show greater leadership and this can be done by creating a building renovation task force that is dedicated entirely to overseeing the actions take place.
  • The second cluster focuses on communication and outreach, and ultimately, telling a different narrative to the public about renovation, ensuring that information about what is possible and available resources are transparent and become common knowledge.
  • The third cluster focuses on financing and making it easily available and accessible, with a particular focus on those who need it most.
  • The fourth cluster provides practical ideas on how to prepare the supply chain to deliver and implement renovation programmes, and upskill and grow the workforce.

View the BPIE action plan here