Report: Renovating EU houses could save 44% of energy for heating

(EurActiv, 19 Jan 2023) With a tripling of the current renovation rate, almost all residential buildings in the European Union could be renovated by 2050, saving 44% of final energy used in space heating, a new report shows.

The decarbonisation of Europe’s building stock is a major challenge. Buildings still account for 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, and these numbers have consistently resisted efforts to reduce them.

Already in 2020, the European Commission stressed that building renovations “could reduce the EU’s total energy consumption by 5-6% and lower carbon dioxide emissions by about 5%.”

As EU lawmakers examine a proposed revision of the bloc’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a new report tempts lawmakers with big-time energy savings – provided the pace of home renovations is increased significantly. 

If all existing residential buildings in the EU were renovated, “44% of final energy used for space heating, could be saved,” says the report released on Wednesday (18 January) by the Building Performance Institute (PBIE), a think-tank.

According to BPIE modelling, up to 777 Terawatt hours (TWh) in energy savings – equivalent to the electricity consumption of Germany and Spain combined – would be achieved by insulating roofs and walls of the EU’s residential buildings.

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EurActiv, 19 Jan 2023: Report: Renovating EU houses could save 44% of energy for heating