On the 15th of October 2015, Renovate Europe organised its annual high-level conference REDay2015, entitled “It’s More than Renovation…”. Sponsored by its partners Knauf Insulation and Eurima, the event literally put the spotlight on the speakers, who emphasised the multiple benefits that deep energy renovation of the existing building stock can deliver in different fields, at different levels and in different countries.

What’s behind an energy efficient renovated building? Our countdown started over one week ago, when Renovate Europe launched its red building. Day by day, benefit by benefit, the Renovate Europe building showed that It’s More than Renovation. It’s indeed energy security, an investment opportunity, local jobs and growth, health and well-being, smart development and CO2 reductions. The high point was reached yesterday morning, when the main entrance of the Renovate Europe building opened. It not only launched a brand new website (www.renovate-europe.eu ), but also released the REDay2015 video, containing unique messages from three Commissioners.

For Katainen, “There is great potential for multiple benefits from improving our buildings through holistic renovations”. Canete added that “For those that say renovations are too expensive, my message is that climate change mitigation is not a brake on the economy. It is pro-investment and pro-growth”. And to complete the trio, Šefčovič labelled “Energy efficiency of buildings [as] a triple win: benefiting consumers who will pay lower bills and enjoy greater comfort; benefiting the economy by creating new jobs; and of course benefiting the environment”. This way, the EU Commission showed its support for the Renovate Europe campaign. Political support has also grown in the EU Parliament. Indeed, last Friday, the REC welcomed its 93rd signatory, MEP Afzal Khan(S&D, UK).

“An energy efficient building realised by deep renovation not only brings energy demand reduction and delivers multiple benefits to meet our growth and climate ambition, it includes the potential to reduce costs and increase efficiencies on the supply side” said Jan te Bos, Director General at Eurima. Sian Hughes, Head of EU Public Affairs for Knauf Insulation, added: “The next 12 months are going to be very important as the European Union looks at ways to deliver their 2030 Energy and Climate targets, whilst delivering on ambitious jobs and growth objectives. Renovation ticks all the boxes. REDay2015 helped to drive awareness amongst policy and decision makers in Brussels and across Europe of the enormous benefits of renovation. ”

The participants at the event learnt about the success of over 1,700 completed renovations in Lithuania, the approved 3% annual renovation rate for social housing in Essen, Germany, the €100 m given to Energies POSIT’IF by the EFSI fund, the first prescriptions from doctors for deep renovation in UK as only a few of the examples presented at REDay2015 that show the growing number of successful practical cases from all over Europe.

“Individual renovation projects have shown over and over that it is possible to reduce the energy demand in buildings by more than 80 % in a cost-effective manner,” explained Adrian Joyce, Renovate Europe Campaign Director. “Now we need to focus our attention on how to widen these innovative financial schemes for ambitious energy renovation of the existing building stock, and achieve a solid regulatory framework for Better Buildings”

More than 140 attendees, high-level speakers, successful best practices from all over Europe, political support from three Commissioners, 5 National events approaching made REDay2015 a successful conference. REDay2015 also showed that more can still be done. A coherent ambitious legislative framework, innovative financing mechanisms and a mix of ambition at the top level, supporting bottom-up approaches are the solutions proposed that will bring Europe closer to the ambition of the Campaign to reduce the energy demand of the existing building stock by 80% by 2050. Ahead of what may be another cold winter, REDay2015 delivered solutions to make the best out of our building stock, showing all the multiple benefits of energy efficient renovation.