Spend wisely: Use cohesion funding for energy renovation

(EurActiv, 20 Jun 2022) The EU budget can go a long way toward helping member states achieve higher ambition on energy-efficiency renovation of buildings. But the money must be spent wisely, writes Adrian Joyce.

Adrian Joyce is director of the Renovate Europe Campaign.

With skyrocketing energy prices and Europe’s leaky buildings consuming a high of 40% energy, business as usual is no longer acceptable. Greater action on buildings is unavoidable if we are to effectively wean the EU off its Russian energy dependence.

The buildings sector remains the climate sector with the largest investment gap to achieve its goals. So, where will the money come from to make this happen?

Enter the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF)

MFF funding amounts to some €1 trillion to be spent over the 2021-2027 period. It is a very large pot of money available for spending by member states since 1st January 2021, but still mostly unclaimed.

With only 6 Partnership Agreements approved and no Operational Programmes yet agreed upon, the time to be making the right decisions on cohesion funding is now.

As the cash-strapped member states scramble to get these cohesion documents approved by the end of the year to open additional funding streams, the REPowerEU Plan released last month clarified a common truth: that better connecting the dots between the regulatory framework, the economic reforms and the funding is the only way to go if we are to achieve our common goal of reducing the EU’s dependence on Russian imported fossil fuels.

What does this mean for buildings?

On the regulatory framework, REPowerEU called in its EU Save Plan for higher ambition for buildings in the Energy Efficiency (EED) and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives (EPBD) currently under review – for example, by boosting the depth and scope of the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

External link

EurActiv, 20 Jun 2022: Spend wisely: Use cohesion funding for energy renovation