Position Paper ‘CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL EUROPEANS’ PACKAGE

Date

03 May 2017

Press release

Position Paper
‘CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL EUROPEANS’ PACKAGE
April 2017
 
The ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package and its intention to put ‘Energy Efficiency First’ sits at the heart of Europe’s climate and energy strategy. We strongly believe that energy efficiency plays the most important role in delivering the objectives of the Energy Union and in respecting its global commitment to combating climate change through the Paris Agreement. 
 
Buildings represent the most cost-effective energy savings potential. Ambitious renovation policies make good sense both from  a societal (climate and energy) as  from an individual  (citizens’) perspective because of the important ancillary benefits linked to the economic importance of the building sector and the primary function of buildings for living comfort, health and well-being.
 
With buildings contributing to 40% of Europe’s final energy bill, 90%1of our buildings leaking energy (their energy performance is well below what is possible within reach today) and more than 10% of Europeans living in energy poverty - this package is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to address in a holistic manner the European building stock. However, Eurima  doubts  whether the current EPBD and EED revision proposals by the European Commission will truly enable us to unleash the full potential of the building stock both in energy savings as regarding all the co-benefits of energy efficiency.
 
THIS PAPER OUTLINES THE THREE MAIN ELEMENTS WHICH WILL HELP BUILDINGS DELIVER 
MORE IN THE ENERGY TRANSITION
 
1. INCREASING THE ENERGY RENOVATION RATE: MAKING BUILDINGS DELIVER
 
In order to reach our energy and climate goals in 2050 we must ensure that existing buildings deliver the lion’s share of the 2030 energy efficiency target: renovation is a must. We therefore need to address both increasing the renovation rate and the renovation depth2. Today’s renovation rate across Europe is at an average of 1% a year. Renovation rates across Europe  will need to be at least doubled in the next decade. To achieve this goal, we see the following aspects as key:
 
A clear vision for a decarbonised building stock by 2050. A decarbonised building stock must first and foremost  be  achieved  by  lowering  the  energy  demand  of  the  building  stock,  in  line  with  the  savings potentials available in our existing buildings. The stock, by 2050 should be decarbonised up to at least ‘a Near  Zero  Energy  level’,  in  full  consistency  with  the  ‘Nearly  Zero  Energy  Building’ (NZEB)  definition3Article 9 of the current EPBD and the Energy Efficiency First principle. In other words, such a transition would mean that the energy demand of the building stock is reduced by 80% by 2050, compared to 2005 levels, taking into account the potentials, contributions of building typologies and climate zones. 
 
An ambitious and binding energy efficiency target for 2030 needs to be coupled with a clear contribution from building renovation activity. The energy efficiency market and its respective business players need coherence and consistent regulatory signals to upscale and trigger investments, especially with regard to energy renovation activities. A binding target is essential to prioritise energy efficiency in realising our climate and energy ambition and to stimulate deep renovation of the European building stock in a way that is compatible with our 2050 ambition. As shown in the EED Impact Assessment, an increase from 1% to 2.1% in the existing renovation rate is needed to reach a 30% energy efficiency target. Moving to a 40% target would, according to the Impact Assessment, increase the rate to 3.1%4
 
Please find attached the full text of the paper.