Leading businesses urge Governments to put building renovation at the centre of recovery plans

Ahead of the important European Council meeting of next 17-18 July, EU-ASE addressed a letter to the 27 EU Heads of State and government to call for leadership and long-term political vision for managing the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Brussels, 14 July 2020


Dear Leaders of Europe,


The health and socio-economic crisis caused by Covid-19 calls for unprecedented decisions in the process of designing resilience and recovery plans. We have now an opportunity for Europe as a whole to make a great leap forward towards new and more sustainable economic models, instead of going back to the pre-crisis status quo. Now more than ever, Europe needs your bold political vision to implement immediate measures and to quickly fix the damages left behind by COVID-19, while investing in our long-term future. This opportunity should not be wasted.

As businesses and investors having energy efficiency and energy demand reduction at the heart of our activities, we expect Europe’s global climate leadership to be translated into measures which will lead to a green recovery and positive long term impact for citizens, business and the environment. As an example, the Renovation Wave is a unique opportunity to promote a European based industry, with technologies and expertise able to serve the renovation demand locally. Investing in the comprehensive renovation of the European building stock will help maintain the competitive advantage of the European construction value chain and create local jobs, while lifting millions of Europeans out of energy poverty. But despite its great potential, only a few Member States have committed to this objective by submitting their Long-Term Renovation Strategies due in March.

According to the European Commission’s recovery strategy released last month, the renovation of buildings across Europe is key and the upcoming Renovation Wave Initiative will be critical to stress the positive impact that sustainable and energy efficient buildings can have on health, well-being and quality of life; emission reduction and climate change; economic recovery and job creation. According to a recent study, for every €1 million invested in energy renovation of buildings, an average of 18 jobs are created in the EU. These are local, long-term jobs that will stimulate economic growth and will help drive us out of the economic crisis.

In order to fully realize Europe’s building renovation potential, it is paramount to increase the renovation rate of the building stock to a minimum of a 3% per year and make renovation programmes the cornerstone of the national recovery and resilience plans that you are due to present next October.

In view of the above, we look forward to working with you to decarbonize the EU building stock by 2050.

Yours sincerely,

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


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Media contact:
Matteo Guidi
+32 493 37 21 42

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Recommendations for a neighbourhood approach to maximize energy efficiency in renovation and energy planification

This position paper calls on the European Commission to integrate the notion of neighbourhood approach in the EU building and energy efficiency policy framework, in the national programmes for buildings renovations and in the upcoming Renovation Wave strategy.

The current energy efficiency legislative framework in buildings already refers to the notion of a district or neighbourhood approach, in particular in Art.19, §2, of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

While the article refers to 2026, given the multiple benefits of a neighbourhood approach and the need for accelerating our climate actions, the EU should prioritize the integration of this principle in its climate and energy framework and any new initiatives linked to renovation and decarbonization. This is all the more relevant, as the main challenge today is not so much the construction of new buildings as the renovation of the existing ones.

We need to make sure that the renovation policies deliver fast and concrete results in terms of increased energy efficiency and overall system efficiency, reduced energy consumption and reduced GHG emissions. A neighbourhood approach could help us achieve these goals and the overall objective of a highly energy efficient and decarbonized building stock.


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Boosting energy-efficiency services markets for building renovation and system efficiency

The event promoted policy recommendations, solid business models and practical tools to uncap the full potential of energy-efficiency services market.

High-level speakers from the EU and international institutions discussed the legislative framework and market conditions for energy-efficiency services, including the current situation and policy outlook for the 2020 & 2030 horizons and beyond.

In particular, the event highlighted the cost-effective contribution of the current provision for the promotion of energy-efficiency services in art. 18 of the Energy Efficiency Directive to the achievement of the national ‘long-term renovation strategies’ proposed in art. 2a of the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

During the event, a number of practical examples were presented, showing how energy efficiency service solutions, such as energy performance contracts, can be successfully deployed in order to deliver a high degree of energy savings along with further results in terms of innovation and cost-efficiency. The presentations were given on a peer-to-peer basis by the clients and providers involved in the projects displayed.

The event was followed by the presentation of two practical tools for boosting the energy-efficiency services market elaborated within EU-funded projects: the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Quality Criteria for EPC.

The European Code of Conduct for EPC, established as part of the Transparense project in 2014, defines the basic values and principles that are considered fundamental for the successful preparation and implementation of EPC projects. It was developed in tight collaboration between actors of the European EPC sector: providers, clients and European associations representing energy services companies (ESCOs). Since it was released, it has been a reference document in the field of EPC and the number of its signatories still keeps growing.

Quality Criteria (technical and financial) for EPC are a new tool that will be developed within the QualitEE project, starting in mid-2017 under the H2020 programme. QualitEE aims at scaling up investment in energy-efficiency services by reducing complexity of such services and increasing the trust of clients and financial institutions in energy-efficiency service providers. Technical and financial Quality Criteria will therefore be developed to bring more clarity in Energy Performance Contracts, facilitating certification of energy efficiency services, thus fostering investment in this sector. QualitEE is going to complement the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Working Group (EEFIG) held by the European Commission.

The closing remarks by market practitioners provided another brief overview of the role of EPCs, their potential and existing barriers to their further development, as well as possible ways and ideas to tackle them.

The event brought together the main actors of energy-efficiency service market: policy makers; providers of energy-efficiency services (ESCOs), public and private clients: municipalities, industrial, commercial and residential sectors; technology providers, financial institutions, academia and other relevant actors interested in boosting the market.

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