No more time for half-measures on renovation

(EurActiv, 10 Nov 2021) In times of climate crisis, it is no longer acceptable that our buildings swallow up so much of the limited energy resources and leave our citizens so vulnerable to energy price hikes, writes Adrian Joyce.

Adrian Joyce is director of the Renovate Europe Campaign.

Building renovations can slash greenhouse gas emissions and massively improve human health. But if renovations are cosmetic fixes only, we risk undermining climate policies at a time when we really cannot afford to.

A ‘deep renovation’ standard in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is a crucial stepping-stone towards more highly energy efficient renovations.

The scale of the challenge is huge: more than 97% of the building stock in the EU hold a below-A grading. As a result, a high of 40% of the EU’s energy supply is soaked up by buildings, and about 36% of CO2 emissions are released from our leaky building stock.  Those figures have to come down, and fast.

Renovations are the way to do that, by upgrading homes, offices, and other buildings so that less energy is used and not wasted.

In a time of high energy prices and restricted economic abundance post-COVID, channelling investments towards energy renovation is the right thing to do. We know that technologies available today can bring down energy demand by 80% in existing buildings, thereby relieving the pressure on consumer energy bills.

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EurActiv, 10 Nov 2021: No more time for half-measures on renovation