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Energy Renovation – The real way to put citizens at the heart of the Energy Union


16 Jun 2016


Sustainable Dev.

Renovate Europe held a breakfast briefing, hosted by MEP Theresa Griffin, on the theme of energy renovation and consumers on 15th June in the European Parliament in the context of the upcoming review of key buildings-related legislation in the autumn.

At the event, MEP Theresa Griffin (S&D, UK) spoke forcibly about the need to increase energy renovation of buildings and thereby address the principle root cause of energy poverty. “Energy Renovation is an opportunity to create a synergy between energy policy, social policy and industrial policy across the EU, and to reconnect with citizens she said.

“Energy renovation must be at the heart of the Energy Union,” explained Adrian Joyce, Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, “Buildings are central to our lives, to our health and to our productivity  – citizens deserve quality buildings to live, learn and work in”.

Reducing the energy demand of the building stock in the EU will result in numerous benefits to citizens seeking more comfortable, affordable and healthier homes. “We must keep in touch with reality, and listen to the needs especially of low income groups on the ground, who are concerned about the potential rent increases following refurbishment”, said Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General of Housing Europe.

This breakfast event comes on the heel of Commissioner Cañete calling for a definition of energy poverty on 14th June during EU Sustainable Energy Week, and to develop an EU observatory for energy poverty. Clearer data for buildings will lead to more transparency and better policy making to address the serious problem of energy poverty affecting between 50 and 125 million people consumers across the EU[1].

The energy efficiency package expected in the autumn provides the Commission with the unique opportunity to rectify current loopholes in EU legislation hindering the uptake of the renovation market.  Energy Efficiency first must be prioritized in the upcoming revised legislation.

If we don’t address energy waste in buildings, energy production and smart buildings won’t fully benefit consumers”, insisted Yamina Saheb, researcher at OpenExp. “Inefficient buildings that produce energy do not solve any problem. Ensuring we get rid of energy waste in buildings is a prerequisite to moving to smart buildings”.



[1] See BPIE Report: Alleviating Fuel Poverty in the EU (2014)