Renovate Europe held its sixth edition of Renovate Europe Day (REDay2016) on 13th October in Brussels, attended by over 100 participants and under the patronage of the Slovak Presidency of the EU, with a focus on how achieving an NZEB building stock by 2050 can boost EU jobs, growth and SMEs and increase benefits to EU citizens and businesses.

Ahead of the upcoming legislative proposals and on the back of the Paris agreement which relies on a significant scale-up of energy renovation in the EU, Renovate Europe Day highlighted how energy renovation is a topic which has a direct and tangible impact on EU citizens.

“Energy renovation is often dismissed as a technical topic, but it actually goes straight to the heart of every EU citizen. These are people’s homes, people’s hospitals, people’s schoolswe are talking about”, explained Adrian Joyce, Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, “and these are people’s jobs and people’s SMEs that we are aiming to boost. We need a long-term vision of an NZEB building stock by 2050 in order to deliver on people’s expectations and improve their wellbeing”.

Legislation is the main driver for the renovation market, which needs a clear long-term vision to trigger investment.  The revisions of the EPBD and EED offer the opportunity to enshrine a long-term vision in legislation, and to emphasize the need to prioritise the reduction of energy demand over decarbonisation, to ensure citizens reap the benefits. “Citizens will enjoy the benefits of a living in a highly energy efficient home because it will also be a healthy, comfortable home.  A decarbonised leaky building will not deliver those benefits,”explained Adrian Joyce.

The motivation to achieve an NZEB building stock was clearly demonstrated at REDay2016 by first-hand contributions from four innovative models, already stimulating increased employment on the ground. Belgium’s RenoWATT set up a one-stop model including technical and financial support, motivated by the potential to maintain and/or create up to 16 000 jobs over the next 30 years if 60% of Wallonia’s buildings were to be renovated. Other examples included UK’s RetrofitWorks, based on a cooperative structure; an ESCO model in Croatia which undertook the deep renovation of an old hospital without disturbance to the patients; and France’s Picardie Pass Rénovation, whose tailored independent advice and financing solutions for owners has mobilised almost 650 local companies.

The European Parliament also showed its enthusiasm for applying EU legislation on a practical level in its own buildings (see Vice-President MEP Ulrike Lunacek’s video). The EP has called for achieving an NZEB building stock by 2050 in its recent Gierek and Pieper Reports.

The morning conference of REDay2016 was followed by visits of two renovation projects in the framework of the Bâtiment Exemplaires programme run by Bruxelles Environnement. Find out more about BatEx here.


REDay2016 Agenda

08h30    Registration and Coffee
Moderator: James Crisp



09h00     Welcome Address
Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director

09h10    Opening Address: Building renovation in the Energy Efficiency Package
Marian Husarik, Slovak Presidency of the EU

09h20    Energy Renovation as key industry for local jobs and growth
Paul Hodson, European Commission

09h30    Beyond legislation: What is the EP doing to reduce the energy demand in its own buildings?
MEP Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament (video)


SESSION I: How an NZEB Building Stock by 2050 can deliver jobs and growth

09h35    Training for tomorrow’s jobs: upskilling in the SME sector to increase employment 
Riccardo Viaggi, European Builders Confederation

Creating new market and employment opportunities in local communities – the importance of public engagement

09h50    Stimulating local jobs through renovation of public buildings
Erika Honnay, RenoWATT (Belgium)

10h05    Organising the local renovation market: bringing together SMEs in a one-stop-shop model
Tony Rose, RetrofitWorks (UK)


10h20    Q&A


10h40-11h00 Coffee break

11h00    The Crucial Role of Energy Advisory Services


SESSION II: Skills and support needed to make NZEB a reality on the ground
Catrin Maby, Energy Advice Exchange

11h15    Emerging Examples: Building Renovation Passports
Mariangiola Fabbri, Buildings Performance Institute Europe


Local initiatives to drive renovation – examples of successful entrepreneurship

11h30    Driving the residential market through financial and technical aid
Alice Morcrette, Picardie Pass Rénovation (France)

11h45    Using an ESCO model to renovate public buildings in Croatia and create local jobs
Danijel Benčić, RUDAN (Croatia) – Watch Video of Renovation of Public Hospital in Croatia here



12h20    Batiments Exemplaires Programme: Achieving Exceptional Energy Performance (prelude to site visits)
Joke Dockx, Bruxelles Environnement



12h30   Conclusions
Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director


12h45    Networking Lunch

In partnership with Bruxelles Environnement. Bus leaves from 6 Rond Point Schuman

  • Renovation and conversion of a Brussels house into 4 passive flats
  • Renovation and alteration of a local industrial building into dynamic range of activities




17 October 2016, Brussels
Annual Dinner Event

14 November 2016, Milan
Renovate Italy Day 2016

22 November, Zagreb
Renovate Croatia Event

The importance of communication in energy efficiency renovation projects

25 November, Athens
Renovate Greece Day 2016

Presentation of the Policy Paper “The status of Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem”