Consumers will only renovate their homes if it’s easy and affordable

(EurActiv, 30 Apr 2021) Consumers are willing and ready to play their part in the green housing transition, but they will need guidance and support along the way, writes Monique Goyens.

Monique Goyens is director general of BEUC, the European consumer organisation.

Europe’s building stock currently accounts for 36% of European greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing this will mean future-proofing our homes by thoroughly renovating them. But the complexity and expense of doing so is holding many people back.

As part of Europe’s Green Deal and the EU’s post-COVID recovery strategy, the so-called ‘Renovation Wave’ aims to bring Europe’s building stock into the 21st century by making it more climate resilient. The Strategy aims to at least double renovation rates in the next decade.

However, to be aligned with the Paris Agreement, annual renovation rates will need to quadruple, and deep retrofits – that ensure the biggest energy savings – at least tenfold. This is a massive undertaking.

Yet improving energy efficiency in buildings is a no-brainer: it leads to lower energy consumption and costs, as well as better indoor air quality and improved health for consumers. It also enables consumers to make a very tangible contribution towards fighting climate change.

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EurActiv, 30 Apr 2021: Consumers will only renovate their homes if it’s easy and affordable