The EU must rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and Europe’s leaky buildings are in the spotlight. With buildings accounting for the largest share of final energy consumption, at a high of 40% of energy demand, reducing the energy demand of the building stock in the EU has never been so important.

In this context, last March 8, the European Commission made public its communication “REPowerEU: Joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy”.

So far, the communication misses the potential for energy savings in buildings. Demand-side measures are highly undervalued in favour of short-term supply driven actions which will lead to stranded assets and damage the overall EU Green Deal and Fit-for-55 ambition. This gap must be rectified by proposing concrete bold measures to stop energy waste in buildings in the REPowerEU Action Plan to be published in May.

For such reason the REC office has prepared a briefing the various opportunities that renovation offers to protect energy poor households and deliver real change to people’s lives by reducing energy demand and therefore citizen’s energy bills, while also keeping an eye on the longer-term objectives of lowering GHG emissions in line with EU Green Deal and climate neutrality goals.

More specifically we have come up with a set of immediate actions to stop energy waste in buildings needed for the REPowerEU Action Plan to be published in May:

  • 1. Make Energy Efficiency an energy security priority
    • Establish a Delivery Taskforce for Energy Savings
    • Increase the ambition and fast-track key measures from the Fit-for-55 legislative package
  • 2. Help Member States go faster and further on energy renovation with EU-level financial and technical support:
    • Launch an Energy Savings Facility to accelerate MFF investment in renovation
    • Front-load and maximise RRF investments on energy renovation to their full potential
    • Open a specific DG REFORM Technical Support Call for energy renovation
    • Ensure the new EU Fiscal Framework supports energy renovation
    • Facilitate private sector mobilisation via higher Taxonomy Requirements for buildings
  • 3. Ensure concerted action on Capacity & Delivery by launching an EU-level ‘Renovation Sector Compact’
    • Map existing and potential capacity to address bottlenecks in the renovation market, workforce, and supply chains
    • Help to modernise the construction sector and upskill its workforce by coordinating a 2022 Renovation Summer School

Read our full statement here.