Brussels, 4 November 2011 – A new study on the effects of investing in the renovation of Europe’s buildings underlines that investing in energy efficiency in buildings is a key tool to help balance budgets and bring growth back to the European economy. In 2010 for every one euro invested by the German federal government into loans to energy efficiency measures, five euro of combined tax receipts and expenditure savings were made. With the Energy Efficiency Directive under discussion in the European Parliament and Council, the Study’s findings call into question those who have publicly doubted the ability of national governments to meet the cost of the deep renovation of Europe’s buildings.

The Study, conducted by the Jülich Research Centre, examined the effects on public finances of the promotion of energy efficiency loans and bonuses by the German development bank KfW in 2010. The Federal Government makes budget funds available to KfW under the CO2 Building Rehabilitation Programme through the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The programme provides builders with reduced-interest loans or investment bonuses with which they can build or convert their houses or flats into energy-efficient homes. According to the Study, the German State invested 1.4 billion euro in 2010, which created an additional 5.4 billion euro of tax receipts and 1.8 billion euro savings in unemployment benefits. An estimated 340,000 jobs were created or safeguarded as a result.

“At a time when governments across Europe are faced with the difficult challenge of reining in budgets while encouraging growth, this new Study underlines that government investment in the deep renovation of buildings is a win for government finances and a win for the European economy” stated Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director of Renovate Europe. “These new findings serve as a wake-up call to those in Parliament and Council who complain that despite the economic and environmental benefits of deep renovation of buildings we can’t afford to renovate Europe. This is clearly not true! Governments across Europe would be committing an act of political and economic madness in not allocating increasing amounts of their budgets to KfW style programmes.”

The campaign, an initiative of the industry group EuroACE, is vocal in its support for the ambitious proposals made by Claude Turmes MEP on the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive. It argues that a long term 2050 target for deep renovation of Europe’s buildings and obligatory roadmaps for deep renovation are essential to boost economic growth, reduce Europe’s dependency on imported and increasingly expensive fossil fuels and prevent more Europeans falling into fuel poverty. A recent study, launched on 11 October 2011 in Brussels by the campaign, argued that the deep renovation of Europe’s buildings could create up to 1.1 million new jobs in Europe.