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Business associations to European Commission: investment in energy renovation is a no-regrets choice

Ten European business associations that provide sustainable solutions in the building sector are calling for a stronger regulatory framework for building standards to improve the energy performance of buildings and ensure decarbonisation of the building stock in the European Union. According to the signatories, stepping up energy renovation is paramount for addressing high energy prices too.

In a joint letter to the EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, the signatories emphasise the need for the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the importance of introducing mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

“MEPS will allow monitoring and measurement of energy efficiency and decarbonisation measures including the integration of renewables and demand-side flexibility to support buildings’ integration with the energy system”, reads the statement.

“In combination with technical assistance and financial support, MEPS will create the necessary long-term regulatory framework providing the certainty needed for public and private investments to strengthen local construction value chains, to fill the skills gap and to nurture innovation in technologies, deployment of solutions, and business models”, state the signatories.

Through the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, the EU is providing more than 40 billion euros to invest in energy building renovation over the next five years. The sum is the overall share of funding allocated in the Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) of 18 of the 27 Member States. This is estimated to represent 8.4 per cent of the total RRP funds.

Currently, the annual energy renovation rate in the European Union remains well under 1 per cent of the total building stock. According to the Renovation Wave communication, the EU should reduce emissions in the buildings sector by 60 per cent by 2030 to contribute to the 55 per cent emissions reduction targets of the entire Union.

A Cambridge Econometrics study suggests that doubling the annual energy renovation rate to renovate 35 million buildings by 2030 would reduce gas imports by about 4.5 million cubic metres of gas per year, with households saving over 400 euros per year while the construction sector creates additional local green jobs.

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