Public buildings must lead the way in reducing fossil fuel imports

Public buildings must lead the way in reducing fossil fuel imports

Your government is vocal and determined in the need to reduce fossil imports and boost the EU’s energy independence. The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) represents an important opportunity to progress on this goal, by reducing the energy demand, and therefore the energy bills, of our public buildings. We are seriously concerned however about recent developments in the EED negotiations.

In my capacity as Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, I urge you to demonstrate leadership and a commitment to reducing fossil fuel imports by supporting a robust Article 6 on public buildings at the final EED trilogue meetings on the 2nd and 9th of March.

As you know, 40% of all energy consumed in the EU is swallowed by Europe’s leaky buildings. Energy renovation is the long-lasting, sustainable solution to the energy, social and climate emergency we face.

Public buildings must lead the way, not only to set the tone and raise awareness, but also in order to pave the way towards achieving the 2030 and 2050 climate goals. Public buildings play a key role in preparing the market for the wider uptake as their diversity makes them a microcosm of what will need to happen in other buildings segments.

We therefore call on you to ensure an effective and impactful Article 6 by:

  • Not supporting the alternative approach:
    The scope and impact of Article 6 is already very diluted through a series of exemptions, including the possibility to renovate certain types of buildings (such as historic buildings) at lower performance requirements, to limit the renovation only to buildings owned by public bodies (with incentives to those occupied) and a loose interpretation of the definition of ‘public bodies’. Exempting also social housing (something Renovate Europe does not support given that social housing harbours the most vulnerable in society, mostly living in the coldest homes with the highest energy bills) undermines Article 6 even further. Allowing public authorities the alternative possibility to renovate a building in a staged-deep approach with a Building Renovation Passport by 2040 to achieve similar savings will only delay action. The urgent need for action on buildings in the midst of the energy crisis could not be more clear – public authorities must take responsibility and show leadership.
  • Ensuring ZEB level depth for Article 6:
    Faced with an energy and climate imperative, the accurate level of renovation depth is crucial for the buildings to be renovated in Article 6. Renovating to ZEB level (and not nZEB level) must be the threshold, also to stay in line with developments in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Your country’s input at the final EED trilogue meetings will be decisive in translating the political discourse on slashing energy imports into tangible action.

A robust Article 6 must place public bodies as the front-runners to remain credible with citizens. Watering down the renovation obligation for public bodies any further would severely undermine the exemplary nature of public authorities, at a time when citizens are looking for leadership out of the energy crisis and climate emergency.

I remain at your disposal if you have any questions, and would of course be happy to discuss further if needed.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Joyce
Renovate Europe Campaign Director

Download PDF here.

Campaign Director Adrian Joyce on Euronews

Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, participated on the 18-19 February episode of the Euronews talk show “Brussels, my love?”.

Mr. Joyce’s intervention took place during a roundtable debate on how we can reduce the energy consumption of our homes.

As he put it, technologies and solutions to make our homes energy efficient are already available and therefore “to get all our homes fit for purpose by 2050 is realistic”.

When asked about the financial feasibility of undergoing all renovation works, Adrian Joyce referenced the good step forward that introducing innovative instruments, such as Mortgage Portfolio Standards and an EU Renovation Loan, to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive would bring to the table. These instruments, added to the 70 billion euro that Member States have committed to invest to the energy renovation of buildings by 2026, would make the ramp up of renovations an achievable feat.

You can watch his full intervention here.

Besides this topic, the programme also touched upon the general rise in living costs and pollution generated by private aviation.

You can find the full episode below:

Blogpost - Norbert Kurilla (C4E Forum)

“Nowadays out-of-crises policies and measures shall be fully compatible with a net-zero world and avoid creating further dependencies. I think many crisis can be turned into an opportunity. Especially from energy security perspective, it could be a positive impetus that drives environmentally sound and sustainable solutions.” writes Norbert Kurilla.

REC Newsletter - Winter 2023

Welcome to Renovate Europe‘s newsletter!

Here are the highlights of the last months.

In December, we published “Renovate2Recover One Year On: What progress on building renovation?”. This report provides an update on progress after one year of implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, and looks at the work which has begun to unlock buildings-related investment worth at least €28bn.

Renovate Europe has also continued to support efforts to achieve a strong and forward-looking Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD). With the ITRE vote in the European Parliament approaching on 9th February, Renovate Europe has been working together with our National Partners to publish Op-Eds in national media calling for an ambitious EPBD recast, for example in Bulgaria, Croatia and Denmark.

On the side of C4E Forum, it is our pleasure to announce that the event will be held under the patronage of the Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. On January 17th, we also hosted the webinar “Empowering Central and Eastern Europe through Energy Efficiency” where we had a conversation on some of the key topics of the next edition. Registrations are now open to attend the event in Šamorín (Slovakia) between 23-26 May.

Read the full Newsletter here.

Patronage over the C4E Forum 2023 by President Zuzana Čaputová

We have the honour and pleasure to announce that President of the Slovak republic – Zuzana Čaputová has taken over the patronage of the C4E Forum 2023 which will take place in Samorin, Slovakia between 23 and 26 May 2023.

C4E Forum Webinar - Empowering Central and Eastern Europe through Energy Efficiency: Navigating Energy Security, Fit-for-55, and Rebuilding Ukraine

Revisit our webinar “Empowering Central and Eastern Europe through Energy Efficiency” to get a preview of the exciting topics that will be covered at the C4E Forum conference in Šamorín, Slovakia on May 23-26, 2023.