Renovation Wave focuses on energy efficiency, minimum standards and finance

The European Commission unveiled today its much-anticipated Renovation Wave initiative. The strategy outlines the steps needed to renovate more than 220 million existing buildings by 2050.

It also calls for the EU to at least double the current annual rate of buildings energy efficiency renovation by 2030 and to foster deep energy renovations. This would equal to renovating up to 35 million buildings over the next 10 years.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the initiative, which comes at a crucial moment for Europe’s short-term economic recovery and long-term path towards climate neutrality.

The Renovation Wave rightly underlines the importance of energy efficiency first principle as a horizontal guiding principle of European climate and energy governance and beyond, to make sure we only produce the energy we really need. The Commission announced the publication of the guidance on the energy efficiency first principle in early 2021.

A key element of the initiative is the proposal of a phased introduction of mandatory minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings, as part of next year’s revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

EU-ASE highly welcomes the accompanying document on EU funding of the Renovation Wave and the commitment by the Commission to ensuring that buildings are included as a top priority when assessing national recovery and resilience plans.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy said:

“We welcome the Renovation Wave as a key strategy to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by reducing their energy consumption and by fostering the greater quality, rate, and depth of comprehensive renovations. If this strategy is rightly implemented, the benefits will be tremendous. These will include improved comfort, cleaner indoor and outdoor air quality, reduced energy bills, local qualified jobs, and millions of citizens lifted out of energy poverty”.

Harry Verhaar, Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Head of global public & government affairs at Signify said:

“We welcome the Renovation Wave as the best kick-start of economic recovery in Europe. In particular, the decision to extend Article 5 of the Energy Efficiency Directive to all public buildings, including private schools and hospitals, is excellent news. Increasing the renovation rate of our buildings is the biggest job machine at our disposal, and these are good local jobs that replace expensive energy imports. Now let’s use the Renovation Wave as a lighthouse on our way to climate neutrality”.

Bonnie Brook, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Senior Manager Industry Affairs – Building Automation at Siemens Switzerland said:

“A Renovation Wave is essential as for the EU it will be impossible to become carbon neutral without massively renovating its old and inefficient building stock. Renovation, decarbonisation, and digitalisation should go hand in hand to achieve Europe’s ambitious climate targets. For these reasons, we welcome this initiative, hoping that it will be followed by the
necessary legislation to make sure that smart infrastructure and innovative business models will enable and accelerate the energy transition for all Europeans.”

Bertrand Deprez, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Vice-President EU government affairs at Schneider Electric said:

“Making our buildings energy efficient is key to reconcile Europe’s climate objectives with rapid economic recovery across Europe. The added value of this initiative is that it can be a strong driver for both. To ensure that the Renovation Wave objectives are met, the EU and its Member States need to scale-up the renovation rate by combining the principle of efficiency first with the deployment of distributed energy resources and the rise of digital technologies.”

With regards to the next steps, the Commission has outlined a list of related upcoming actions and their indicative timelines.


Matteo Guidi, Communication Officer

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), established in 2010 by some of Europe’s leading multinational companies, creates a platform from which companies can ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the business and political community. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.


EU-ASE at Conferenza nazionale sul clima 2020 (Italy)

On 13 October EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni participated in the institutional session of the Conferenza nazionale sul clima 2020 – Una roadmap climatica per l’Italia, hosted by Italy For Climate.

During this high-level online conference, starting from the proposal of an Italian Roadmap for Climate elaborated by Italy for Climate, panelists discussed the contribution of the different economic sectors and the measures needed to align Italy’s recovery plan with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Speakers included European Commission Director General of DG Climate Mauro Petriccione, Italian Minister of Environment Sergio Costa, Minister of Regional Affairs and Autonomies Francesco Boccia and Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council Riccardo Fraccaro.

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni discussed the benefits of energy efficiency for Italian’s recovery and the necessary steps at European and national level to foster energy efficiency as a key element to achieve climate neutrality.


The recording of the session is available here.

Unique gathering of organisations call for more ambitious climate targets

Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on the ambition level of the new 2030 climate target, a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs published a joint letter calling on the EU leaders to agree on the most ambitious target level.

Signed by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and other 46 organisations, representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, €62 trillion in investment portfolio, more than 800 companies and 330 NGOs, the joint letter clearly expresses the desire of European stakeholders to have the EU’s 2030 climate target substantially increased. Building on the recent proposal from the European Commission, the signatories hope European Member States will improve what is proposed, and in particular call for decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions to come on top of the needed strong emission reductions in other sectors.

The letter welcomes the Commission’s proposal to substantially increase the EU’s 2030 climate target and states that the Member States should agree on at least -55% while some civil society organisations supporting the letter are already calling for at least -65% emission reductions. European stakeholders encourage Member States to achieve increased climate target both by strong emission reductions as well as decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions in line with the need to protect Europe’s biodiversity.

European cities, regions, businesses, investors, NGOs and local communities, underline that only ambitious climate action can avert the most dire future costs of climate change impacts and provide a unique societal and economic opportunity to achieve a socially just transition for all European regions.


Download the full letter here

European Parliament push for 60% climate target is good news also for businesses

The European Parliament voted to increase the EU emissions reduction target by 2030 to at least 60% as part of the EU Climate Law.

By doing so, the Parliament adopted a position that is more ambitious than the Commission’s 55% reduction proposal.

This is good news for the EU’s climate ambition and international leadership in a decade which will be crucial in the fight against climate change.

It is also good news for businesses. Indeed, a higher EU climate ambition provides investors and businesses with a clear direction and more certainty to plan their investments and strategic choices, that have to be directed towards the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

Monica Frassoni, president of the European Alliance to Save Energy commented:

This is a major step in the right direction to achieve the EU carbon neutrality goal and a green economic recovery. MEPs showed to EU leaders the level of ambition that is needed. The path to meet this target is clear: focusing on energy efficiency and renewables is the best way to go for the Union and its Member States. This should be reflected in all upcoming investments and funds, starting from the MFF and national Recovery and Resilience Plans.

EU leaders will start discussing the EU 2030 climate target next week at a European Council. An EU-wide agreement on the new target is expected at the December European Council.



Matteo Guidi, Communication Officer

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) was established in December 2010 by some of Europe’s leading multinational companies. The Alliance creates a platform from which companies can ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard from across the business and political community. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.


Renewable and efficiency businesses highlight priorities for increased climate ambition

Together with a large group representing Europe’s renewable and systemic energy efficiency value chains, EU-ASE sent a letter to the cabinet of European Council President Charles Michel.

The signatories strongly welcomed the increased ambition recently announced by the Commission, which builds on the key pillars supported by our associations: the combination of the energy efficiency first principle with the transition to renewable energies, with a specific emphasis on the electricity, heating & cooling, building and transport sectors.

The letter states:

“The good news is that technologies are available. However, barriers still prevent their uptake. Therefore, we need bold and urgent action from your side.”

The group highlighted four top priorities to ensure an increased climate ambition by 2030. These are:

  • The need to systematically apply the “energy efficiency first principle” as an essential enabler for decarbonisation, by reducing energy demand and costs associated with energy production, infrastructure and use.
  • The need to recognise “flexibility” as a core driver for the energy transition with dedicated measures to promote key elements such as efficient system management, energy storage, waste heat recovery and demand response technologies.
  • The need to actively facilitate customer choice towards the most cost-efficient technologies with the highest impact in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction, building on the huge potential of digitalisation with smart technologies and controls, and with measures aimed at creating a level playing field for all energy carriers.
  • The need to sustain European excellence in renewable energies and their efficient use by further paving the way for the ambitious deployment of all renewables, with measures aimed at making use of and future-proofing Europe’s energy infrastructure as well as unlocking investments into the deployment of new, innovative technologies.


Download the full letter here