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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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.”

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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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Commission strengthens EU energy efficiency rules, lacks ambition on targets

The European Commission unveiled today its “Fit for 55” package to adapt the EU’s energy and climate legislation to the new goals of reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050. The package includes the key proposal to revise the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).

The EED proposal contains a number of positive elements. First of all, it enshrines the Energy Efficiency First principle (EE1st) in the Directive, introducing the much-needed obligation to apply the principle in the decision making of energy and non-energy sectors.

Other important elements are the extension of the public owned building renovation obligation to all public bodies, as well as the introduction of a new obligation to cut energy consumption of public bodies by at least 1.7% annually until 2030.

The revised Directive reinforces the annual energy savings obligations target after 2024 by 1.5%, almost doubling the current obligation. It also excludes the accountability of direct fossil fuel combustion technologies and clarifies that a reduction of the energy use through measures under the ETS cannot count towards the fulfilment of the energy savings obligation.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the Commission’s proposal to level up its ambition on the EU energy efficiency rules. By acknowledging the Energy Efficiency First principle, the Commission recognises its crucial role to drive a fast and fair transition in energy and non-energy sectors. However, we regret that the Commission chose not to propose binding national targets on energy efficiency; furthermore, we are critical of the Commission’s decision to propose an EU wide energy efficiency target that, even if mandatory, is not aligned with the EU decarbonisation pathway. The Commission introduces a 36% target for final energy consumption, which does not catch the cost-effective opportunities stemming of at least 40% energy efficiency target by 2030.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy said:
The latest extreme weather events around the world and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic show that there is no time left for half measures on climate and on economic recovery. The EU Energy Efficiency Directive must be fit for Europe’s decarbonisation goals as well as foster economic activities aiming at increasing efficiency in buildings, industry, and transport. In this sense, we think that the proposed targets should have been more ambitious. We will be working over the next months to demonstrate to the co-legislators that delivering on ambitious energy efficiency targets and fully applying the Energy Efficiency First principle is essential if the EU wants to be credible about reaching climate neutrality in time and avoid the worst effects of climate change. We hope that the European Parliament and the Council will further improve the current proposal”.

Harry Verhaar, Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Head of Public and Government Affairs at Signify said:
“To be able to fully unlock the multiple benefits of energy efficiency across the continent we need an ambitious EU legal framework. We welcome the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive, which comes at a timely moment for Europe’s green recovery and clean energy transition. In particular, we praise the Commission for strengthening the provisions on the Energy Efficiency First principle. The principle needs to guide policymakers and investors in all energy planning, policy, and investment decisions. Energy efficiency is a powerful driver of sustainable economic growth and it is key to speed up our journey to a decarbonised Europe”.

Bertrand Deprez, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Vice-President EU government affairs at Schneider Electric said:
“Energy efficiency is the indisputable driver to reach at least a -55% GHG emissions cut in the next decade. The European Commission proposal goes in the right direction, with very promising measures to accelerate energy efficiency efforts at end-use level, including the extension of renovation obligations to all public buildings. Yet, achieving the EU ambition for 2030 without tackling the renovation of the entire existing stock is ‘Mission: Impossible’: we need to extend it to all non-residential buildings.”

Bonnie Brook, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Senior Manager Industry Affairs Building Automation at Siemens said:
“Enhanced criteria for energy audits and energy management systems are very encouraging. They should leverage the opportunities brought by the current advanced level of digitalisation. Smart technologies should be widely deployed to enable monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the energy performance as well as the progress to the carbon-free future”.

Ahead of the publication of the proposal, the European Alliance to Save Energy provided to the European Commission its recommendations on how to make the EED “fit for 55%”. The Alliance looks forward to working together with the European Parliament and the Council during the co-legislation period to ensure that the Directive is ambitious and comprehensible.

According to the International Energy Agency’s Global Net Zero Roadmap for the Energy sector, the path to global net zero emissions implies a global push in energy efficiency gains resulting in the annual rate of energy intensity improvements averaging 4% to 2030 – about three times the average over the last two decades.

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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! Celebrating the first decade of EU-ASE

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE).

EU-ASE was established at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010. Over the last decade, it has grown to become one of the most influential business-led organisations on energy efficiency in Brussels.

Our vision remains unchanged. We strive for a future where energy efficiency is central to the entire EU energy system and is a fundamental driver of decarbonisation, job creation and sustainable growth.

“When the European Alliance to Save Energy was founded, energy efficiency was the Cinderella of EU energy policies. This is no longer the case. Energy efficiency and the energy efficiency first principle have gained the attention they deserve and are a pillar of the European Green Deal. I believe our efforts – coordinated with our partners in Brussels, Europe and globally have been crucial to make this happen. However, the road ahead is still long, as the energy efficiency potential in buildings, transport, and industry is still largely untapped. In the next decade, we need to make energy efficiency measures a game changer in the EU energy system and a major priority in Member States to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

“In a rather short time the European Alliance to Save Energy has become a major player in the EU sphere and a reference for the institutional and businesses community. Our voice is heard and appreciated by policy and decision makers. The Alliance’s 10th anniversary comes at a decisive moment with energy efficiency set to play a crucial role for economic recovery and the clean energy transition. Several key pieces of legislation will be revised in the course of 2021. We look forward to the second decade of the Alliance which interestingly coincides with that of global climate action,” stated Harry Verhaar, Chair of the Board of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

“Ten years have flown by incredibly fast. A decade ago, our aim was to put energy efficiency at the centre stage of the energy transition by bringing together progressive businesses, environmental think-tanks and NGOs to work as an ‘alliance’. Today our model is a success. We look forward to the next decade, with the same motivation and increased ambition, hoping to welcome new members from across sectors and build many more innovative partnerships,” commented Luigi Petito, Head of the Secretariat of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

View our 10 years video testimonials here and follow EU-ASE social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn) and #EUASE10 to stay updated with our activities to celebrate the 10 years of the Alliance. Here is to many more to come!

About us
The members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) are some of the world’s leading multinational companies, a prominent cross-party group of European politicians and environmental campaigners. EU-ASE provides a platform from which business leaders can advance the cause of energy efficiency, promote good business practices, and share innovative ideas.

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Broad coalition calls on EU not to rely on hydrogen to decarbonise buildings

33 businesses, industry associations, NGOs, and think tanks joined forces to urge the European Commission to prioritise available efficient and sustainable solutions to decarbonise Europe’s building stock, and avoid the direct use of hydrogen.

Addressing EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in an open letter, the co-signatories underline that to achieve a higher 2030 EU climate target, massive emissions reductions in the building sector will be needed (<60% compared to 2015). This requires applying the energy efficiency first principle and boost the integration of renewables, as envisaged by the Renovation Wave strategy.

While it is true that renewable hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, its direct use for heating on a large scale is problematic because it comes with many uncertainties linked to the scalability, costs of its production and inefficiencies, the letter says.

To optimise the process of heat decarbonisation in the medium and long-term, the EU should favour energy efficiency options as they can immediately deliver real carbon savings, while accommodating a growing share of renewable sources.

The co-signatories call on the Commission not to overestimate the potential of “zero-emission gas”, which would be mostly imported from abroad. Doing that would constrain EU taxpayers to fund unnecessary infrastructures, such as gas pipelines (or their upgrade), diverting financial resources from immediately applicable and more sustainable heat decarbonisation solutions.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:
“To achieve higher emission reductions by 2030, the EU must act fast to decarbonise buildings as one of the most energy consuming and polluting sectors. To make this happen, we need to prioritise energy efficiency and renewables, while using hydrogen to decarbonise harder-to-abate sectors, like chemicals and steel.”

 

Read the full letter here

 

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the European Union. 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.

Media contact
Matteo Guidi
matteo.guidi@euase.eu
+32 493 37 21 42

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