EPBD recast must define deep renovation as the standard – BPIE study

(eceee news, 28 Feb 2023) The current renovation rate of 1% must be at least doubled by 2030, reach 3% by 2035, and 4% by 2040, according to a recent study by Buildings Performance Institute Europe – BPIE. Full renovation of EU residential buildings would result in a 44% reduction of energy demand for heating in buildings, or 777 TWh savings.

Improving the insulation of all existing residential buildings in the EU would contribute to securing the bloc’s energy independence, according to the study. Improving energy performance of the building envelope would also enable effective growth of renewable heat.

To fully benefit from the savings potential (777 TWh), the entire residential building stock must be renovated by 2050, which means the current renovation rate of 1% must be at least doubled by 2030, reach 3% by 2035, and 4% by 2040, the BPIE study argues. 

As the final negotiations of the EPBD is expected in the coming months, this presents an opportunity to define deep renovation as the standard.  Renovation requirements which deliver on this standard should also be fair and backed by attractive financial support for all who need it.

The EPBD recast should should also require that financial programmes and advisory services prioritise projects achieving deep renovations, according to the study, BPIE argues. Furthermore, minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) should be designed on a differentiated basis according to ownership structure. They should also focus on worst-performing buildings across all segments first.

The study has two main components:

  1. Estimation of energy and fossil fuel savings through better insulation of residential buildings in 27 Member States (MS), resulting in potential energy savings of 777 TWh
  2. Annual projection of energy savings in EU residential buildings, considering 0.1% annual demolition rate until 2050, resulting in 750 TWh savings.

If all existing residential buildings in the EU were renovated, 44% of final energy used for residential space heating in 2020 could be saved, BPIE claims. Investing in building renovation can potentially reach 46% in gas savings, 44% in heating oil savings and 48% in coal savings.

View the study here