Building expert: Policymakers using ‘shortsighted’ subsidies to cushion energy crisis

(EurActiv, 27 Sep 2022) Subsidising energy bills to cushion the blow of the energy crisis is an “enormous waste of money”, according to Oliver Rapf. While it is necessary to shield consumers, EU countries should be looking at energy efficiency measures that create long-term improvements and help tackle the climate crisis, he argues.

Oliver Rapf is the executive director of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, an independent centre of expertise on the energy performance of buildings. He spoke to EURACTIV’s Kira Taylor about BPIE’s new buildings tracker and the role of buildings in the energy crisis.


  • Building renovation in Europe is not on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and the gap is widening.
  • While supporting households through the energy crisis is needed, EU policymakers are using shortsighted subsidies rather than driving renovation that would create long-term improvements.
  • Energy saving can be achieved by big buildings, like shopping centres, lowering temperatures and reducing lighting, and consumers can take small steps to improve energy efficiency, but the big push needs to come from deep renovations, supported by governments.
  • Minimum energy performance standards under the energy performance of buildings directive could drive more renovation, but there are concerns these will be watered down by EU countries.

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EurActiv, 27 Sep 2022: Building expert: Policymakers using ‘shortsighted’ subsidies to cushion energy crisis