Open Letter to Finance Ministers in the Member States of the EU

Dear Ministers,

We write to you to let you know that strong provisions on buildings in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive is a real economic opportunity. Good for business, good for competitiveness and growth, and good for job creation. Energy efficiency lifts our economies from the heavy burden of energy dependency and, in addition to helping us to meet our common climate protection goals, enables public and private revenue to be invested in more valuable areas than energy wastage.

As a result, the building provisions in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive are supported by the broad coalition of leading companies and associations that make up the Renovate Europe Campaign. That Campaign calls for the deep renovation of the EU building stock in order to achieve an 80% reduction in its corresponding energy demand by 2050 as compared to 2005 levels.

The scale of the opportunity is huge: studies1 from various countries show that for every €1 of public resources invested in energy efficiency of buildings, a resulting return on investment of €5 occurs, in some cases within just one year. Add to this the boost that extensive deep renovation of buildings gives to manufacturing, distribution and local jobs and you can see that investment in energy efficiency is a no-regret option.

We therefore call on Finance Ministries to grasp this investment opportunity by:

  • Supporting strong provisions on buildings in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, namely:
    • The inclusion of National Renovation Roadmaps for the whole building stock that invites Member States to design their own path towards the 2050 target of an 80% reduction in energy demand from the building stock. Such anticipatory and long-term planning is needed to boost investor, consumer and industry confidence.
    • Support a 3% annual renovation rate for all public buildings that shows the way forward and enables the necessary learning that market actors must undertake.
  • Supporting programmes for Energy Efficiency in Buildings in your country;

Deep energy renovation of buildings is an investment that leads to high public revenues and, with about 11% of the EU construction workforce currently unemployed, a true stimulus package that will aid economies by creating local, long-term jobs.


Open Letter to Finance Ministers of the EU Member States

Are you seeking low risk investments which offer high returns, stimulates growth and creates local, long-term jobs for your national economy? Then look no further than energy efficiency in buildings and seize the opportunity to support strong provisions for buildings in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. This is the advice the Renovate Europe Campaign has addressed to the 27 EU Finance Ministers in an Open Letter.


Knowledge-Building Workshop on the use of the MFF for Energy Efficient Investments in Buildings

Workshop on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework

Knowledge Building Workshop on the use of the MFF for Energy Efficient Investments in Buildings

On the 22nd March 2012, the Renovate Europe Campaign organised in Brussels a high-level Workshop on the use of the MFF for energy efficient investment in buildings. The Workshop formed part of a series of events on financing energy efficiency in buildings that will take place in 2012.

The Workshop was by invitation only ( see Agenda ) and approximately 60 experts and stakeholders attended to share their experiences and knowledge with the Campaign and, crucially, with each other. A rich exchange of knowledge took place that has produced a series of Recommendations from the meeting.

The Workshop clarified that although there are challenges ahead, there are also many successful examples of financing instruments and partnership models on which to build in the current and future funding periods. Key elements identified include the need to understand investments in energy efficient renovations of buildings as an investment and not as a spending, the need to maintain technical assistance programmes and the need to increasingly demonstrate the benefits of investment in energy efficiency of buildings in order to reinforce the probability of higher investments in the next funding period.

Workshop Documents:


Recommendations - Press Release

Workshop Powerpoint Presentations:

Innovative Financing Needed for Europe’s Buildings
Paul Hodson, DG Energy, EC

Funding Energy Performance Projects – Experiences from the Private Sector
Adam McCarthy, Johnson Controls

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Combining New Financial Instruments with the MFF – Example of JESSICA
Frank Lee, EIB

Technical Assistance Breaks Down Barriers – Success with ELENA
Juan Alario, EIB

Case Study – Partnership Model at Regional Level
Jose Lopez, Julien Berthier, Région Ile-de-France

Experience of Financing Energy Efficiency of Buildings in Germany
Amelie D’Souza, KfW

Workshop Organising Committee:

Adrian Joyce (Campaign Director), Susanne Dyrboel (Rockwool), David Baumgart (BASF), Julie Kjestrup (Danfoss), Céline Carré (Saint Gobain - Isover), Jonna Byskata (UTC), David Turier (Fleishman HiIllard), Laura Vanhué (Independent Expert on European Territorial Energy Efficiency)


For further information, please contact the Campaign Director at

Investing in energy efficiency in buildings tackles Europe’s budget/growth dilemma says new report

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.

Renovating Europe’s buildings: the secret weapon in creating up to 1.1 million direct jobs and saving up to 32% of EU energy consumption

Brussels, 11 October 2011 – Today’s Renovate Europe Day, organized by the Renovate Europe campaign, brings together non-governmental organizations, politicians, academics and industry representatives. The aim of the Renovate Europe campaign, initiated by EuroACE, is to promote the huge - but largely unknown - capacity of deep renovation of buildings as the most effective way to meet the economic and energy challenges that face the EU.

Newly appointed Renovate Europe Campaign Director Adrian Joyce said “This is a wake-up call to our politicians. The potential of Europe’s buildings has been neglected when it comes to economic growth. But all the evidence shows the huge impact deep renovation can have in Europe: up to 1.1 million direct new jobs , 32% of the total primary energy saved. The choice is clear: either continue to burn our Euros on fossil fuels from abroad or invest in deep renovation that creates European jobs today and saves us money tomorrow.”

If the EU wants to meet its energy savings targets, a commitment to deep renovation in the current discussions around the Energy Efficiency Directive is absolutely vital. Adrian Joyce added “The financing to deliver on deep renovation is available and industry is ready to make it happen. What we need is an ambitious Energy Efficiency Directive that creates the legal and policy framework to allow deep renovation to take place.” Renovate Europe is calling upon policymakers to stand by a proposal to renovate 3% of Europe’s public buildings per year and to put in place national roadmaps that will deliver an 80% reduction in energy demand of Europe’s buildings by 2050.

Event speaker Peter Sweatman, Founder and CEO of Climate Strategy & Partners, will illustrate examples of huge returns on investments in energy efficiency measures in buildings, such as a nine fold return on investment in Germany where promotional bank KfW stimulated a total investment of Euro 54 billion from 2006-2009 from a core public investment of Euro 6 billion. Mr. Sweatman will show that the amounts of investment flows required to meet Europe’s 2020 Energy Savings Target are in the order of 0.5-0.8 % of GDP; a level of investment already being surpassed by the KfW scheme in Germany.

New research quantifying Europe’s building stock will be revealed at the event. Produced by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), an independent not-for-profit organization, the research shows that Europe’s existing building stock is about the size of Belgium, 75% of Europe’s buildings are residential and that buildings have the potential to create up to 1.1 million direct new jobs in the construction sector. Providing a vital picture of Europe’s building stock, the BPIE research is a solid basis for policy debate both at the EU and Member State level. “We are convinced that effective policymaking starts with an accurate picture of the challenge and our report is a first attempt at a comprehensive answer to this question” says Oliver Rapf, Executive Director of BPIE. “To improve the energy performance of European buildings in the future we need a good understanding of the present. An efficient monitoring system for policy effectiveness as well as data availability and quality is a prerequisite for successful and ambitious policy making” he added.

Europe's Buildings Under the Microscope

by BPIE ,  was launched on Renovate Europe Day 2011. It provides the following research and analysis:

  • Provide a clear overview of EU building stock (energy use, typology, regulations, etc.)
  • Quantify the potential financial and energy savings benefits of increased retrofits
  • Identify and propose solutions to gaps and barriers to delivery mechanisms

Executive Summary