Untapping multiple benefits to speed up renovation wave

(eceee news, 6 Nov 2020) A new JRC report provides guidance to policy and decision-makers in developing a methodology for the inclusion of multiple benefits in assessing energy efficiency policies. According to its findings, green policies can improve both our health and the economy.

Renovation of buildings lowers energy bills and – in addition – can reduce energy poverty, boost the construction sector and is an opportunity to support SMEs and local jobs.

The report aims to show and place a monetary value on the added benefits to our health, society and the economy that environmental investments and policy linked to energy efficiency can bring.

If multiple benefits of enhancing energy efficiency are included into the evaluation and development stages of the mandated policies and programmes, it can help to unlock the potential of their economic and societal impacts.

Were Member States consider multiple benefits in the calculations of their cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements, these minimum requirements would be more stringent due to the cost-effectiveness of multiple benefits, according to the report.

On a micro (private) level, the impacts represent the benefits from an energy efficiency investment linked to the actual use and value of the building, e.g. increased comfort and health of the inhabitants and increase in asset value of the building.

On a macro level, the impacts represent the benefits from investment to society as a whole, for example a decrease in energy and carbon emissions, an. increase in GDP and employment and improved public health.

Quantification and monetisation of these macro benefits can help policy makers and investors understand the importance of the associated impacts and hence increases the appeal of energy efficiency measures, according to the report.

The European Commission stresses the need to prioritise energy efficiency and underlines renovation of buildings as a key challenge. The buildings are being renovated at a slow rate of 1 and 1.5% per annum, while the. pathway towards the EU’s 2050 target requires a market transformation and for this rate to triple.

The report estimates that a macroeconomic understanding of the wider benefits of energy efficiency in buildings will encourage policy-makers and investors to develop and quantify the benefits of more effective energy efficiency policies and programmes and drive higher levels of renovation. It aims to provide the European Commission (EC), the national administrations in charge of implementing EU energy efficiency policies (such as the EPBD) in Member States (MS) and other decision makers:

  • Information on identified benefits;
  • A methodology for an enhanced consideration of wider benefits, in particular in the calculation of cost-optimal minimum energy performance requirements under the EPBD; and
  • A toolkit to calculate and quantify / measure the monetary value of these impacts, from a policy and investor standpoint.

View the report here