New survey shows high support in Europe for energy efficient homes

A survey conducted by YouGov in four European countries finds extensive public support for new regulations to increase energy savings in homes.

Commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, this polling reveals that people in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain want to buy and rent energy-efficient homes.

The survey enquired people looking to rent or buy a property in the next five years. Data show that not only renters and homeowners value energy-efficient properties because they cut energy bills and they are better for the environment, but both agree on the need for regulation aimed at reducing the impact of buildings on climate change.

Some highlights from the survey include:

  • 89% of respondents said that it is overall important for them to buy or rent a property that is energy efficient
  • Yet, the current housing stock is not meeting this demand, with 64% of people saying that there are not enough energy efficient properties available on the market
  • 72% said they would support a policy that required all newly built homes to be well insulated and with clean heating systems
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that they would support a law that requires existing homes to meet minimum energy standards, with subsidies for affordable improvements standing out as the top incentive that would help citizens deliver on this policy. Support was highest in Spain (75%) and Italy (72%)
  • The respondents who indicated support said this because the policy will reduce exposure to high energy prices (60%) and help combat climate change (59%)
  • 85% said that Energy Performance Certificatesare useful

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:

“This survey shows that energy efficiency is not just one of the tools in the decarbonisation kit, but a clear priority for citizens across Europe. Especially after the recent hike in energy prices, people are willing to renovate their homes, they just need the right technical and financial support. This is the perfect time for the EU and its Member States to accelerate the pace of renovations with ambitious legislation, including mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards, and adequate resources. The results will be great for citizens, the economy and the environment.”

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public Affairs of Signify & Chairperson of EU-ASE, said:

“We all know this needs to be the decade of building renovations in Europe. The fact that citizens are highly supportive of this agenda must be an inspiration for policymakers at EU and national level, starting from the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Businesses are ready to play their part and support the wave of high-quality renovations for all buildings. This will help Europe to deliver on its climate goals while providing more energy efficient and comfortable homes, as well as public and private sector buildings.”

 

More information on the survey results

 

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The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to advance the energy efficiency agenda in the European Union. The Alliance allows world’s leading multinational companies to join environmental campaigners and a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament. EU-ASE business 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.

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Online workshop: Shaping the decade of building renovations

Agenda:

  • Prof. Dr. Diana Urge Vorsatz, Vice Chair of WG III of the IPCC, Central European University
  • Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director-General, DG ENER, European Commission
  • Sean Kelly, Member of the European Parliament
  • Iskra Mihaylova, Member of the European Parliament
  • Antoine Caron, Deputy Head of Department, Department for quality and sustainable development in construction, Directorate for Housing, Urban Planning and Landscapes, French Ministry for Ecological Transition

EU-ASE is hosting an online workshop on Friday 28 January to talk about the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Three objectives must take priority: increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions and lowering energy prices.

The European Commission presented its much awaited proposal to revise of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in December 2021, the last piece of the legislative package ‘Fit for 55’ to put the Union on track towards climate neutrality.

Buildings are a central aspect of our daily lives, as we spend most of our time indoors. But 75% of buildings in the European Union are not energy efficient, which poses problems to reduce emissions, and many of them will still be standing by 2050. Wasting energy not only has dire consequences for the environment, it also means higher energy bills for citizens and businesses.

The revision of the EPBD proposed by the European Commission acknowledges these challenges and offers a good direction, but more actions are needed to trigger a renovation wave for the EU building stock to be energy efficient.

The high-level event, organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy, is an exchange of views on how to increase energy efficiency and decarbonise buildings while boosting economic growth and create job opportunities.

Register here.

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EPBD recast: EU Commission proposal shows good intentions but low ambition

The recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a key element to complete the “Fit for 55” package. The Commission’s proposal introduces better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, the overall ambition is not sufficient to tap the economic and environmental potential of the full decarbonisation of the EU building stock.

On Wednesday, the European Commission presented its proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The EPBD is one of the elements of the broad “Fit for 55” legislative package which aims to help the Union cut by at least 55% its GHG emissions by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050. Improving buildings’ energy performance is essential to achieve these objectives. According to the EU Renovation Wave communication buildings’ GHG emissions should be reduced by at least 60% by 2030: a gigantic social, economic and environmental challenge.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the intention of the Commission to address this challenge: the measures and tools proposed improve the current situation. The proposal, for example, introduces a pathway for buildings to become “Zero Emission” by 2050 and innovative requirements that can help trigger building renovations, like mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for public and private residential and non-residential buildings.

On the other hand, the Commission has been too cautious when setting the level of ambition of the measures proposed and thus runs the risk that the multiple benefits of energy renovations, in terms of cost savings, increased property value, enhanced comfort and emission reductions, will remain largely untapped.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, said: “The EPBD proposal is indisputably giving us better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, some key measures remain too weak in terms of proposed deadlines and scope and too much flexibility is given to Member states without a clear idea about what will happen if they are not fully implemented. All this makes the goal to fully decarbonize the building stock by 2050 even more challenging.

We will work over the next months to show to the European Parliament and Member States that it is necessary and worthwhile to step up the ambition, starting from revising the energy performance classes to be achieved via MEPS. Comprehensive renovations make economic and environmental sense. In the short-medium term, they are a rational, cost-effective and systemic solution to tackle rising energy prices. An ambitious EPBD must support this positive agenda, no ifs, and, or buts.”

Download the Pdf version

 

Media contact:
Antoan Montignier
Policy and Advocacy Advisor
antoan.montignier@euase.eu
+32 499 84 97 28

About us
The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to advance the energy efficiency agenda in the European Union. The Alliance allows world’s leading multinational companies to join environmental campaigners and a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament. EU-ASE business 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.

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10 years and going strong – 2021 in review

2021 has been another intense year for energy efficiency and Green Deal related issues. It was also a special one for the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) as we celebrated our 10th anniversary.

Throughout the year, the Alliance worked hard to implement an ambitious workplan which involved all members and was structured around four objectives:
• Energy efficiency boosted by policy and regulatory framework
• Unleashing the energy savings potential of water efficiency in EU legislation
• Financing energy efficiency
• Smart, digital and effective communication to achieve advocacy objectives

In a context still marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, EU-ASE was able to effectively support the promotion of energy efficiency to achieve sustainable recovery and meet the EU’s energy and climate goals.

 

Read the full report

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Making the Energy Efficiency Directive fit for 55%

Following the adoption of the Climate Law and in view of its higher climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the European Commission proposed to revise the Energy Efficiency Directive. Energy efficiency must become the bedrock of a decarbonised energy system.

Amending the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is the starting point for the Union to deliver on the necessary reduction of energy demand, to define and operationalise the Energy Efficiency First principle and to set the right policy mechanisms that would address the overall efficiency of the energy supply chain. These are the necessary conditions to achieve a highly efficient and renewable-based energy system in view of the full decarbonisation of our economy.

This paper contains the recommendations of the European Alliance to Save Energy to help making the EED fit for 55% and set the longer track to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

The recommendations touch upon:

  • Energy efficiency targets for increased ambition
  • Public sector leading by example
  • Expanding the scope to all public and private non-residential buildings
  • Public procurement
  • Align the Energy Savings Obligation with 2030 and 2050 ambition
  • Energy audits and management systems
  • Energy efficiency in Heating and Cooling
  • Demand response and efficiency in transformation and distribution networks
  • Availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes
  • Information and training
  • Energy services market
  • Energy efficiency national funds and other support mechanisms
  • Primary Energy Factor

Read the full paper

 

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