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Dear reader,

Europe is implementing changes to its energy policy at a scale and speed unseen before. Many of the decisions will and should lead to change how we use energy in the buildings and construction sector. Energy efficiency first should not only be a buzz word in this respect but a guiding principle for policy implementation. In our new paper we describe how the RePowerEU Energy Savings Plan could be designed, we expect the European Commission to publish it in the second half of May. And at the end of May, the Enefirst Summit will discuss the links between energy efficiency and security. Don’t miss the paper on the topic which is already out.

Another exciting project result is the RenOnBill tool, designed to be used by financial institutions and utilities to analyse the benefits and risk of renovation investments, including information how an on-bill pay back scheme could be run for renovation projects. RenOnBill also published a policy briefing to suggest how on bill payments could be supported in the future EPBD.

The X-tendo project just completed a test round for new features in Energy Performance Certificates; the latest report presents the results for 9 countries.

Another issue needing urgent attention is the growth of energy poverty in Europe. The ComAct project just released strategies to fight energy poverty in five countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the AmBIENce conference which will present concepts and business models for performance guarantees of Active Buildings.
Kind regards,


Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
FOCUS ON: REPowerEU ENERGY SAVINGS PLAN
Time to switch to action: Why saving energy in buildings must be a priotity in the REPowerEU Action Plan 
As follow up document to the earlier REPowerEU Communication, the Commission is expected to issue the REPowerEU Action Plan, which would include a specific energy savings action plan. The EU has a historic choice to make: to put us on a pathway compatible with the 1.5°C climate scenario and secure true energy independence, or simply cushion the crisis today with quick fixes that will condemn us to a future where we have no choice anymore and where climate change is a daily emergency.  
 
Our new briefing argues why energy in buildings must be a priority in the REPowerEU Action Plan by listing measures that can deliver energy savings in the next 18 months while putting the EU on a path compatible with its climate targets. The briefing also suggests delivery approaches to operationalise the implementation of the measures as decisions should be taken quickly, and actions implemented without delay.
The key question is: What exactly must we do, and how do we do it?
 The briefing proposes how to take action now by providing practical steps to be taken with more a short-term and long-term view:

Policies and measures to save energy now while accelerating progress towards EU climate ambition
  • behavioural measures and ‘quick fixes’
  • fast rollout of renovation programmes
  • fast switch to renewable heating options
How to deliver long-lasting energy savings quickly: recommendations for fast implementation
  • showing leadership with an innovative organisational machinery
  • telling the story, promoting the new vision
  • making financing easily available
  • preparing the supply chain to deliver
Read the briefing
HIGHLIGHTS
ENEFIRST: Energy efficiency first for system decarbonisation 
Cutting dependence from Russian gas is an immediate necessity. Meanwhile, permanently moving away from fossil fuels and gas is a key EU objective, strategically adopted in 2019 as part of the EU Green Deal. This major transition is already initiated in gas-abundant countries – like the Netherlands – that decided to stop relying on gas for heating as they recognise the risks linked to fossil fuel supply and its incompatibility with the climate targets.

To achieve the needed decarbonisation of buildings, decision makers must approach the problem from the perspective of not only removing fossil gas from the system, but of thinking about creating a more integrated energy system overall. Starting with end-use efficiency and demand response measures allows for the needed demand reduction and flexibility possibilities that facilitate greater electrification and reveal where the use of alternative gases may be needed.

This policy briefing, authored by Enefirst’s partner RAP, gives guidance on how the Energy Efficiency First principle can facilitate the development of an energy system that is aligned with net-zero climate goals.
Read the briefing
The RenOnBill tool is out! Download it now to better evaluate energy efficiency interventions
 
The evaluation of energy efficiency interventions is affected by numerous parameters and variables and most of them are uncertain. On the other hand, most of the analyses do not include the estimation of the risk connected with the energy efficiency investments. This approach has led to perceiving energy investments by financial institutions as high-risk and thus limited their commitment.

The newly released RenOnBill tool tackles these issues by providing a simple and effective instrument directed mainly to both financial institutions and energy utilities. By providing the users with a detailed amount of information for the development of sophisticated investment strategies and design of on-bill programs, the tool has the potential to facilitate large investments in energy efficiency interventions and thus upscaling the renovation rate that can thus help the EU reach its decarbonization goals.
 
Download the tool
New national roadmaps from RenOnBill guides Member States to replicate on-bill schemes
On-bill schemes represent a key innovative way of leveraging private finance for energy renovation of residential buildings and the H2020 project RenOnBill aims to make their uptake in the EU easier and faster. In this aim, RenOnBill developed a roadmap to disseminate knowledge about the replication potential of on-bill schemes for the European market. The roadmap insights have been derived by the implementation of the project in four focus countries: Spain, Italy, Lithuania, and Germany, where project partners established national stakeholder platforms to inform the replication process of on-bill schemes at national level.

This roadmap, available in English, German, and Spanish (Lithuanian and Italian forthcoming), aims to support policy makers, energy regulators and other representatives from the energy and financial sector to understand the replication potential of on-bill schemes and to influence decision-making with a view to innovative financing instruments for energy renovations in the residential building sector.  It will be a useful resource for energy utilities, financial institutions, policy makers, energy regulators, academia, and anyone interested in boosting the renovation rate of residential buildings in Europe with the help of innovative instruments to leverage private finance.  
 
Read the roadmap
EPBD in support of the uptake of on-bill schemes in the EU
 
 
In December 2021 the European Commission published its proposal for revising the most important piece of EU legislation dealing with building performance – the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The EPBD recast proposal echoes recent EU efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The proposal emphasises different but crucial components to reach these targets, such as the need for higher building renovation rates, resilient and accessible buildings stock, improved air quality, and innovative financing for building renovation. All of these suggest positive expectations when it comes to the uptake of on-bill schemes in the EU. However, there remains plenty of room to improve and strengthen the support the EPBD can provide to on-bill schemes.

This new paper by the H2020 RenOnBill project analyses and explains how the proposed EPBD recast can support the uptake of on-bill schemes in the EU. In addition, it explains potential adjustments to the proposed EPBD recast that may support on-bill schemes even further and speed up their conversion to a powerful tool for fighting climate change and reaching the EU climate goals. Given the proximity of EU 2030 climate targets, as well as the growing importance of reducing the EU’s energy dependence, the EPBD recast is a chance that should not be missed.
Read the policy briefing
How to ensure successful uptake of on-bill schemes in the EU residential market? RenOnBill's new policy roadmap explains how
 
This report establishes a policy roadmap to maximise the uptake of on-bill schemes in the EU residential market. Building on the results of the RenOnBill research and innovation project, the report explains policy solutions applicable at EU and national level, with special focus on the first three years after the end of the RenOnBill project (2022–2025). 

On-bill schemes use the utility bill as a repayment vehicle and bring different actors into a building renovation project. Certain features of on-bill schemes that are not easily found in other financing instruments can help strike a balance between the interests of different renovation participants and resolve barriers to energy renovation. In addition, due to their large-scale implementation potential, on-bill schemes can be a powerful tool to reach EU decarbonisation goals.

The report starts lists 11 potential barriers for on-bill uptake in the EU, grouping them by source – homeowner, utility/financial institution or market related. After introducing the regulatory framework, the report explains solutions for overcoming these barriers and eventually proposes a set of EU and national policy recommendations to make these solutions possible.
 
Read the report
New ComAct factsheets for citizens and homeowners' association on energy efficiency and energy poverty reduction
 
Renovation projects cannot take place without the active involvement of citizens and homeowners’ associations. This is why ComAct pays particular attention to involving local stakeholders and communities in the five pilots located in BulgariaHungaryNorth MacedoniaUkraine and Lithuania.

Partners have developed five factsheets on energy efficiency and energy poverty reduction that will be made available to all local stakeholders and communities. Available in English, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Macedonian, these factsheets share essential information related to energy efficiency and make it available to a larger audience, one of ComAct’s key recipes for success!
Download the factsheets
How to implement new energy performance certificates features: RESULTS from testing in nine countries!
The X-tendo H2020 project aims to enhance development of energy performance certificate (EPCs) schemes in EU Member States. After a theoretical analysis and the development of materials and methods, the project is now testing the features in concrete implementation projects.

This is mainly based on the analysis of the evaluation questionnaires filled out by the X-tendo implementing partners, but also on the content of the testing results reports.

The reports provide a summary of the outcomes of the testing activities on the features in different countries, conclusions for further development of the developed ideas and materials towards the end of the project and beyond, explain the practicability and challenges in the implementation of the features in practice, and give guidance for organising similar test projects in the future.
 
Download the X-Tendo reports
EVENTS
12 May 2022 | Brussels and online
AmBIENCe Final conference
In the last three years, the AmBIENCe project worked on extending the concept of Energy Performance Contracting to Active Buildings and making it available and attractive to a wider range of buildings. In its final conference, AmBIENCe will present the new concepts and business models for performance guarantees of Active Buildings and discuss implementation and future trends in the EU.

The first session will focus on how the energy performance contracting and the active elements introduced by AmBIENCe fit into the current EU framework. We will also discuss the current status of the regulations in the four focus countries of the project (Italy, Spain, Belgium and Portugal) and give recommendations on the future deployment of the Active building energy performance contracts in the EU.

The second session will instead focus on the practical implementation of the Active building energy performance contracts, with lessons learned from the AmBIENCe pilots in Belgium and Portugal and best practices from the EU. We will also discuss further future trends and exploitation in a panel discussion putting together different experts in the field.


The event will be held in English, in Brussels and online.
 
Register here
More information and agenda
31 May - 1 June 2022 | Brussels and online
Energy Efficiency First Summit: How to implement the Energy Efficiency First principle and boost Europe's Energy Security
Implementing the Energy Efficiency First principle has never been more time critical, yet it is still not applied on a systematic basis in policy making, planning and investment. The European Commission published in September 2021 its Recommendation and guidelines to support a broader implementation of Energy Efficiency First (EE1st).

This conference will illustrate and discuss in practical terms how EE1st can help get the most out of energy efficiency and other demand-side resources to achieve a sustainable and resilient energy system in the EU.

The two day event will combine the latest findings of the sEEnergies and ENEFIRST projects, together with roundtables with experts and stakeholders.
Register here
More information and agenda
PAST EVENTS
RenOnBill final conference: towards the implementation on on-bill and other innovative financing schemes for upscaling energy renovation in the EU
Recordings avalaible now
The RenOnBill final conference closes three years of achievement and results in the field of innovative financing schemes for energy renovation of residential buildings. The programme tells the story of this H2020 research and innovation project, highlighting main results and preparing the floor for the exploitation of the outputs, with external guests sharing their views and experience. The first session gives an introduction on the project and on-bill schemes, highlight the impact on-bill schemes and other innovative financing schemes could have on the targets of the current EU policy framework (Renovation Wave, EPBD revision, etc.). The second session deeps dive into the exploitable results of RenOnBill, with presentations on the experiences of the three pilot utilities of the project, and on the way forward from the policy perspectives. The RenOnBill final conference is an event connected to the H2020 project AUNA. 
 
Watch the recordings
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Dear reader,
Stopping energy waste has never been more urgent. The concern about the reliability of our energy supply, about the functioning of heating and electricity systems in our homes has reached a level unknown to all of us born after the second world war. The energy efficiency of our buildings and economies is now a geopolitical and security question. In fact, it has always been one, as we analysed in our 2016 report on Safeguarding Energy Security .

But it seems that politicians are still not seeing the urgency. The recently published EU documents, such as the “REPowerEU” plan and the “Communication on security of supply and affordable energy prices” focus on diversifying supply, but largely ignore the immediate opportunities to stop energy waste. Yes, securing supply and keeping energy affordable is important and urgent, but is not addressing the root causes of our current dilemma. The renovation wave is nowhere to be seen. Shifting supply is not a long-term sustainable solution, even to countries which are today considered reliable. The pre-Biden US administration taught us that decade-old relationships can sour quickly.

The must-have priority is clear: the announced Action Plan to implement the REPowerEU strategy must center around stopping our energy waste, in buildings and in all other sectors. How to make this happen in a socially fair way is the topic of a new paper which we just released. How to accelerate renovation, save energy and support renewable heat are topics throughout the many publications we have for you this month.

And as spring is around the corner, I am very happy to draw your attention to the in-person physical meetings we are organizing again, such as the RenOnBill Final conference which will discuss the future of on-bill and other innovative financing schemes for renovation, and the final conference of the AmBIENCe project which developed a new business model to extend energy performance contracting to active buildings. 

I hope to see you soon in person.

Kind regards,
Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
FOCUS ON: A SOCIALLY JUST ENERGY TRANSITION
Designing building decarbonisation policies for a socially just energy transition 

What are the ‘social (justice) implications’ of building decarbonisation policies? This briefing focuses on people-centred issues, looking at the implications of EU energy policies on low-to-middle-income, vulnerable and energy-poor households.  Specifically, it sheds light on accessibility of:

I. Decarbonisation measures: Are these measures available to all segments of the population and what is their impact on them?

II. Funds: Does public spending target those segments of the population enough (in terms of quantity and quality) and are renovation and decarbonisation projects made affordable?

III. Information: Are tools supporting the transition towards climate-neutral buildings available to those segments of the population, and are they tailored to their needs?

The paper links its recommendations directly to the currently discussed policy files:

  • A vision for a socially just transition, by comprehensively defining energy poverty (EED) and drafting building renovation plans for strategic action on the building stock with the alleviation of energy poverty as one of the key objectives (EPBD);
  • Measures with the explicit aim to completely lift households out of energy poverty, such as phasing out the worst-performing buildings through minimum energy performance standards (EPBD) and targeting support measures at households in energy poverty through energy efficiency obligation schemes;
  • Financial support targeted at deep renovation of worst-performing buildings (EPBD, SCF) and to mitigate the impact of carbon pricing on heating fuels (ETS2);
  • Informing and advising homeowners, through EPCs, tailored renovation passports and one-stop-shops, to make the transition understandable and attractive (EPBD).
Read the briefing and download the infographic
HIGHLIGHTS
Transform your building with e-SAFE
Access free renovation advice and support to secure an earthquake-safe, comfortable, climate-friendly and affordable energy future.
About e-SAFE:
The European Commission funded, H2020 project e-SAFE is developing a market-ready, multi-purpose deep renovation system for buildings, encompassing technological, functional, aesthetic, financial and economic aspects for non-historic buildings in earthquake-prone regions in Europe. e-SAFE's mission is to make healthy, safe, and affordable building renovations accessible to all Europeans, and to simplify the renovation process along the way.

e-SAFE can put you on the path to securing a healthy, energy-efficient and earthquake-safe building. Apply now to receive free renovation plans tailor-made for your building.
Benefit from working with e-SAFE and receive:
  • A survey and 3D models of your building
  • An energy audit, energy analysis, and structural simulations of your building;
  • A detailed e-SAFE based renovation project through a co-design process with residents, covering architectural, energy-efficient and anti-seismic renovation solutions tailor-made for your building;
  • Suggestions of viable financial support schemes to effectively implement energy and anti-seismic renovations;
  • Visibility at the local and European level;
Peace of mind! e-SAFE will equip you with knowledge on how to best renovate your building including the required measures, processes, and costs, so you can take the next steps towards renovating your building with full confidence that your efforts will be well spent …and much more.
 
Learn more and apply to receive free building renovation advice here
WE'RE HIRING!
We are looking for one Project Manager and one Senior Project Manager for our BPIE Berlin office, fluency in German required.
Apply now
New report sets out a framework for benchmarking and limiting buildings’ embodied carbon – an essential tool to meet Europe’s climate goals
A new study, TOWARDS EMBODIED CARBON BENCHMARKS FOR BUILDINGS IN EUROPE, by engineering, architecture and consultancy Ramboll, in collaboration with leading European researchers from AAU Built and KU Leuven, puts forward a standard framework for assessing and monitoring embodied emissions at the building level, and a recommended benchmarking process related to European member states’ carbon budgets.

The series of reports provides critical guidance for policymakers, investors and developers, advocating for greater cooperation across the value chain. It is desperately needed to gather life cycle assessment data and set targets that are aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement to support the built environment’s transition to a lower-carbon future.
Read the study
The RenOnBill guide to implement on-bill business models in the EU
In order to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of each subtype of on-bill scheme, the RenOnBill consortium analysed four business models for on-bill services, based on criteria and factors that were validated thanks to stakeholders’ consultations in Italy, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. The analysis follows the Value Flow Model developed by the Eindhoven University of Technology that supports the better understanding of the complex combination of agents, their motivations and the interactions involved in the offer of on-bill services.

Additionally, RenOnBill also publishes a series of interactive factsheets that shine a light on the standard on-bill financing (OBF) scheme, the On-Bill Repayment (OBR) model, the On-Bill Repayment via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and the On-Bill Repayment operated through a “Master Servicer”.

 
Read the report
Read the factsheets
BPIE IN THE NEWS
EVENTS
5 April 2022 | Brussels and online
Last chance to register! RenOnBill final conference: Towards the future of on-bill and other innovative financing schemes for energy renovation of residential buildings
The RenOnBill final conference closes three years of achievement and results in the field of innovative financing schemes for energy renovation of residential buildings. The programme will tell the story of this H2020 research and innovation project, highlighting main results and preparing the ground for the exploitation of the outputs, with external guests sharing their views and experience. 

The first section will introduce the project and on-bill schemes, highlight the impact on-bill schemes and other innovative financing schemes could have on the targets of the current EU policy framework (Renovation Wave, Fitfor55, etc.), and present best-practice from abroad.

The second section will deep dive into the exploitable results of RenOnBill, with presentations on the experiences of the three pilot utilities of the project, and on the way forward from the policy and commercial perspectives.

The event will be in English and will be held in Brussels and online. Find the final agenda here.

 
Register here
8 April 2022 | 14:00-15:00
Is energy and seismic renovation always relevant for residents?
Within the current EU decarbonisation and climate change adaptation goals, there is growing attention towards the role of energy and seismic retrofitting of worst-performing buildings. While such attention is currently being translated into a variety of practical ways of engaging public actors and the business community at multiple scales, questions can be asked whether such ways are always beneficial to urban residents. On April 8, 2022 (14:00-15:00), e-SAFE's Laura Saija will speak about the relevance of energy and seismic renovation for residents.
 
More information and registration
13 April 2022 | 14:00 - 15:00
Local energy planning dor commercial areas: What role for the Energy Efficiency First Principle?
 
The Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) principle aims to find a balance between saving energy and supplying energy. In this webinar we will investigate the possible scope for the EE1st principle in local energy planning for commercial areas that are characterized by offices, warehouses and other typical buildings. By modelling a set of three scenarios for commercial areas in Spain, Germany and Hungary, we show that saving energy through energy-efficient appliances and other measures can significantly reduce the system cost for generating and distributing energy in these areas. These insights are not only valuable for decision-makers involved in local energy planning in Europe, but also for researchers dealing with models of local energy systems.
 
Register here
27 April 2022 | 14:00 - 15:00
Energy Efficiency First: Single stage vs. stepwise renovation and the question of rapid energy saving actions
In this webinar we will discuss selected topics how to apply the energy efficiency first principle in the building sector. In particular, we will analyse opportunities and challenges of single-stage vs. step-wise renovation activities and how these achieve energy savings and GHG-emission reductions quickly. Triggered by the current Ukraine-Russia crisis and the implications for gas and energy security, we will also discuss measures to strongly increase the pace of energy saving activities and heating system replacement, while also focusing on the danger of lock-in effects and sunk costs.
 
Register here
12 May 2022 | Brussels and online
AmBIENCe Final conference
In the last three years, the AmBIENCe project worked on extending the concept of Energy Performance Contracting to Active Buildings and making it available and attractive to a wider range of buildings. In its final conference, AmBIENCe will present the new concepts and business models for performance guarantees of Active Buildings and discuss implementation and future trends in the EU.

The first session will focus on how the energy performance contracting and the active elements introduced by AmBIENCe fit into the current EU framework. We will also discuss the current status of the regulations in the four focus countries of the project (Italy, Spain, Belgium and Portugal) and give recommendations on the future deployment of the Active building energy performance contracts in the EU.

The second session will instead focus on the practical implementation of the Active building energy performance contracts, with lessons learned from the AmBIENCe pilots in Belgium and Portugal and best practices from the EU. We will also discuss further future trends and exploitation in a panel discussion putting together different experts in the field.


The event will be held in English, in Brussels and online.
 
Register here
PAST EVENTS
X-tendo webinar series: Recordings available
New developments and testing for better EPCs 
The X-tendo H2020 project held a webinar series disclosing the developments of its innovative EPC features and the results of testing in 9 countries. The webinar series took place between February and March 2022 for a total of 5 webinars and guided the audience in a discussion on how to improve the quality of an EPC combining various innovative elements. The webinars recordings are now all available and anticipate the release of a report disclosing all the results from the testing of its features in 9 countries.
Watch the recording
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Dear reader,

As Europe, its partners and friends across the world are struggling to contain Putin’s aggression, it is hard to find the right words to introduce our latest newsletter amidst the pictures of human tragedies. While homes, schools and hospitals are being destroyed by the hour, we are reminded of the fragility of our society where peaceful conflict resolution, democracy, freedom of speech and tolerance are part of our core values. Putin’s war is not about energy, but threats to energy security and nuclear power stations are used as targeted sharp weapons in the background of the conflict. The response of the European Union with the RePowerEU communication published on 8 March shows that the EU is able to make quick and far-reaching decisions in the face of an emergency.

Diversification of supply and increasing fossil fuel stocks are the measures of the moment. But I am wondering why the immediate opportunities to reduce our energy waste are not more at the center of Europe’s response? Reading the communication on Tuesday, energy efficiency and saving seems almost like an afterthought in the frenzy to secure supply. We therefore decided to make a number of suggestions in a short strategy paper  how we could reduce energy demand in buildings quickly. To some they may seem ambitious, to others irrelevant, but we are convinced that every action counts, and that we must act now while also strengthening our policy response with the Fit-for-55 agreement.

It is an almost cynical coincidence that we recently concluded an intensive exchange series with Russian experts and with US experts on improving building efficiency and reducing the climate impact of the sector. Not that we needed any evidence, but the series of webinars showed us that collaboration and dialogue is the only way to meet the challenges which are thrown at us. You can find the recordings of the series on BPIE’s website.

Dialogue is also the chosen strategy of our new Climate Conversations which we recently launched in a first conversation with Domenico Campogrande from FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation. And we are continuing the exchange with you in many webinars in the coming months and with face-to-face events in Brussels, as we all hope that the times of lock-down are behind us. More on the events below.

Finally, we are reminded that we can come together in the time of crisis, the past two years have taught us how to do it. I am convinced that we must show the same resolution in taking climate change more seriously, by seeking cooperation over conflict of opinions, and by investing in our societies in the most sustainable ways. Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Ukraine with whom we collaborated so joyfully in the past years.

Warm regards,
Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
FOCUS ON: SOLIDARITY AND RESILIENCE
Solidarity and resilience: An action plan to save energy now! 

The Ukrainian tragedy requires reactions on many fronts and humanitarian rescue efforts must be a priority. But beyond immediate efforts, Europe needs to take strategic actions to reduce our dependency on energy imports from Russia and other non-EU countries. The action must avoid quick fixes which might pose similar future risks. Finding alternative energy supply might be necessary and acceptable with a short time perspective but cannot be proposed as a lasting solution.

A longer-term and strategic perspective would speed up the transformation to domestic renewable energy supply, and drastically reduce the EU’s dependency on imported fossil fuels.

To decrease energy import dependency, European governments, businesses and citizens have the opportunity to reduce energy demand very quickly. With this paper, BPIE is presenting suggestions to reduce energy consumption in buildings with measures which have a short-term effect.

 
Behaviour changes such as lowering the room temperature by a degree or two, switching off appliances which are not urgently needed and leaving the car in the garage are ad hoc contributions available to almost everyone and are an immediate signal of solidarity with the victims of Putin’s aggression. In the long term, individual actions must be replaced by a clever far-sighted EU plan to structurally reduce energy demand.

Our list of suggestions are divided into different categories (projects/campaigns, financing, regulation) and three time horizons – actions that can be rolled out in the next 6 months, in 3 years, and in 5 years. All these types of measures are needed if the EU is to decrease its energy import dependency in the long run and boost its resilience.
Download the strategy paper
HIGHLIGHTS
Advancing the transatlantic economic recovery with building renovation and clean energy solutions
As signatories of the Paris Agreement, the United States and the have both committed to society-wide decarbonization by 2050. They also pledged to base post-pandemic economic recovery on green and sustainable solutions. The European Union launched Next Generation EU to build a more sustainable, resilient and fairer Europe; the US Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad matches this focus and ambition.
 
As part of the Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA)BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) hosted, in collaboration with the Institute for Market Transformation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Planning, and the European Commission, a series of expert dialogues on energy and buildings aiming to strengthen transatlantic collaboration and exchange on climate mitigation and green recovery policies.
Bringing together over 700 stakeholders and decision-makers from the US and the EU, the dialogues demonstrated high interest to share best practice and intensify the trans-Atlantic exchange on energy and buildings policy.

Whether you’re actively involved or simply curious about US and EU energy and buildings policy, you’ve come to the right place. Discover the key outcomes of the US-EU transatlantic exchange on building renovation and clean energy solutions in a few clicks and find out what stakeholders had to say about how the collaboration should continue. 
 
A guidebook to European buildings efficiency: key regulatory and policy developments
 
This paper provides an overview of key European initiatives and regulation such as the Clean Energy Package, the Clean Planet for All package, the EU Green Deal and Renovation Wave, and the EU's Climate-Neutrality law, serving as a guidebook for EU energy efficiency policy for buildings.
Mapping US policy on energy efficiency in buildings: Existing and planned activities at federal and sub-federal levels

This report informs EU audiences on the status of recovery measures in the U.S. – existing and planned – that can move the country towards meeting its climate commitments, and highlights case studies that were presented through the related US-EU webinar series.
 
Download the papers
Click below to visit buildingsdialogue.com for more info! 
#BPIEClimateConversations
How can the construction sector address whole-life carbon emissions?

BPIE’s new Climate Conversations series aims to shine light on a diverse range of perspectives on buildings and climate policies, engaging stakeholders from various backgrounds. We seek to identify solutions and blind spots to key challenges related to reducing the climate impact of buildings and to a just transition to a climate-neutral society.

For our first ever Climate Conversation, BPIE’s Executive Director Oliver Rapf sat down with Domenico Campogrand Director General of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, to discuss one of our main preoccupations: the role of the construction industry and customers alike to address whole-life carbon emissions of buildings. In this exchange, FIEC explains what keeps the construction industry up at night, and what other ‘hidden emissions’ in the construction can be reduced simply better collaboration and planning.  

Read BPIE's first Climate Conversation
REPORT AND DATABASE
New report and database for EU building typologies, to improve energy performance
This report developed by the H2020 project AmBIENCe describes the development of a European database on building stock, which collects information and data on the parameters needed for both the Energy System Impact Assessment and the creation of performance models. The database provides information about the building stock segments’ reference building, as well as information on the building stock segments.
 
The results compiled in the Excel database can serve as a starting point to assess the flexibility potential when investigating a particular case for which no data/not enough useful data is available. This is relevant for most buildings in EU where examples from the database can be used as input for the calculating the flexibility potential with another tool developed by the AmBIENCe project, that is the ABEPeM platform.
Download the report & access the database here
WE'RE HIRING!
We are looking for one Project Manager and one Senior Project Manager for our BPIE Berlin office, fluency in German required 
 
Apply now
FACTSHEET
New paper from RenOnBill explains why the financial valuation of on-bill investments deserves special attention
This new policy facsheet from RenOnBill  explains the financial valuation of on-bill investments.. Special focus is given to the practical implementation of valuation steps and different perceptions project participants may have when analysing an on-bill investment. A chapter is devoted to the monetisation of non-energy benefits and their inclusion into project valuation.

Finally, to support proper evaluation of on-bill schemes, and to ensure adequate allocation of available funds, the RenOnBill paper proposes governments undertake the following actions when setting up an on-bill renovation programme: developing their own on-bill project evaluation techniques and preparing and promoting clear on-bill project evaluation guidelines.

 
Read the policy factsheet
e-SAFE
Making renovation for healthy, safe and earthquake-proof buildings be accessible to homeowners
This short video highlights the importance of energy efficiency and seismic renovation and how the e-SAFE project will provide innovative and affordable solutions. Watch it here!

Also, a new video on e-SAFE's YouTube channel briefly explains how e-CLT panels work in improving the seismic performance of buildings. 
A life cycle perspective for buildings
The European legal framework and good examples from Member States (German only)
Our new German project “Kreisläufe Konstruieren – Innovationschancen für den Gebäudesektor” brings together the relevant stakeholders to identify levers and obstacles, develop target group-specific recommendations for action, and develop a concrete roadmap for the future of a sustainable construction industry. 

The first report provides an overview of the most important European Legislation, standards and guidelines related to circularity and environmental impact of buildings. The scope is then narrowed to concrete examples from how Member States have designed laws and policy instruments to improve circularity and reduce emissions in several phases of a building’s life cycle.

Finally, we present good practice examples from the construction industry, illustrating how circularity and life-cycle thinking is already being implemented in practice. The report is concluded by a Policy Outlook, sketching how life-cycle thinking can be integrated in the European Policy Framework.
Read the report (in German)
BPIE IN THE NEWS
EVENTS
23 March 2022 | 9:30 - 11:00 
The EPBD recast: opportunities and challenges for France and Germany

Background: The proposal for the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), formulated by the European Commission, introduces a series of new tools and measures for the construction and energy renovation sector. Over the next few months, France and Germany will have a definite opportunity to share their best practices with other Member States and to ensure that the European legislation adopted is ambitious, both in terms of climate and Social plans. This particularly concerns the following instruments: minimum energy performance standards, the definition of zero-energy buildings, that of global energy renovation, as well as energy performance certificates.

Organised by the Franco-German Office for Energy Transition (OFATE), this webinar will provide an overview of the Commission's proposal, as well as a first assessment of its content by BPIE. The event will also be an opportunity to study the repercussions of this revision on France and Germany, and to explore the leadership opportunities it presents for both countries.
 
More info and registration link
24 March 2022 | 10:00-12:30
Join the BuiltHub Stakeholder Workshop on co-creating an impactful and user-friendly BuiltHub platform
The BuiltHub project seeks to develop a roadmap to continuously enhance the data needed to decide on building-related policy and business through a data platform and community of stakeholders. In this first workshop for the BuiltHub project, participants will see the first version of the BuiltHub platform, gain insight into the data collected thus far, as well as have a sneak peek at the first visualisations.

BuiltHub invites all stakeholders with an interest in a European building data platform to attend; this includes but is not limited to: policy makers, local or national authorities, energy agencies and construction and renovation industry experts and researchers. 
More info and registration link
5 April 2022 | Brussels and online
Save the Date! RenOnBill final conference: Towards the future of on-bill and other innovative financing schemes for energy renovation of residential buildings
The RenOnBill final conference closes three years of achievement and results in the field of innovative financing schemes for energy renovation of residential buildings. The programme will tell the story of this H2020 research and innovation project, highlighting main results and preparing the ground for the exploitation of the outputs, with external guests sharing their views and experience. 

The first section will introduce the project and on-bill schemes, highlight the impact on-bill schemes and other innovative financing schemes could have on the targets of the current EU policy framework (Renovation Wave, Fitfor55, etc.), and present best-practice from abroad.

The second section will deep dive into the exploitable results of RenOnBill, with presentations on the experiences of the three pilot utilities of the project, and on the way forward from the policy and commercial perspectives. The event will be in English and will be held in Brussels and online.

 
Register here
8 April 2022 | 14:00-15:00
Is energy and seismic renovation always relevant for residents?
Within the current EU decarbonisation and climate change adaptation goals, there is growing attention towards the role of energy and seismic retrofitting of worst-performing buildings. While such attention is currently being translated into a variety of practical ways of engaging public actors and the business community at multiple scales, questions can be asked whether such ways are always beneficial to urban residents. On April 8, 2022 (14:00-15:00), e-SAFE's Laura Saija will speak about the relevance of energy and seismic renovation for residents. 
More information and registration
PAST EVENTS
February 23
ENEFIRST Stakeholder workshop: Quantifying Energy Efficiency First in EU scenarios: Implications for buildings and their energy supply
This workshop provided an overview of the main results from three EU scenarios simulated in the ENEFIRST project to assess the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First principle in buildings and energy supply. Project partners came together with their stakeholders to explore and discuss the model-based results in view of providing inputs to current policy debates.
 
Watch the recording
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Dear reader,

2022 is a big year for energy, climate and buildings, in fact, we called the current decade the make-or-break decade on numerous occasions. Last week, Reuters reported that the European Union could cope with a short term halt to all Russian gas imports, but doing so would have ‘profound economic consequences’ and require emergency measures to curb demand, according to Bruegel Institute.

The reality of the energy transition is that, whatever the geopolitics, we know we must break from our dependence with fossil fuels as soon as we possibly can. At BPIE, we hope that the emergency measures taken will give significant weight to improving efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings.

In this respect, our EPBD policy briefing takes a critical look at the European Commission’s December 15th recast proposal. While many new tools have been introduced, we find that much work remains to be done to bring this legislation up to the task of securing a healthy, affordable and climate-neutral building stock.

And the findings of our deep-dive analysis into new building standards in six different EU regions show that decarbonisation in new buildings in the EU is happening too slowly and inconsistently, and that EU Member States are still heavily dependent on fossil fuel for heating purposes.

In tandem, our policy roadmap for whole-life carbon reduction sets out the necessary steps to introduce such considerations into the EPBD, aligning the legislation with climate-neutrality goals. Embodied emissions in buildings must be tackled in order for them not to undermine the carbon reductions achieved from the energy saving measures in the building sector.


All of our work this past month ultimately highlights that the EPBD is the single most important legislation targeting the building sector, and policy makers must make it their priority to ensure a comprehensive revision package, taking into account the links between the EPBD and the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Construction Product Directive, the Renewables Directive, the EU sustainable taxonomy, and the European Social Climate Fund, among others. However well intentioned, policymaking in isolation from the big picture will not bring us to where we want to go.

Towards this end, our first newsletter of 2022 provides numerous tools and inspiration to take strategic action that should help ensure a bullet-proof Fit for 55 package. These are the first of many publications and actions in 2022 with which we will raise awareness of the solution pathways at our disposal. The challenges ahead are great, but so are the opportunities. Let’s take them all this year.

Enjoy the reading,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
FOCUS ON: EMBEDDING WHOLE-LIFE CARBON IN THE EPBD

This policy roadmap argues that the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recast this year should ensure a comprehensive vision of a carbon neutral building and construction sector, and set the requirements and clear triggers to reduce whole-life carbon emissions of the building stock. Reducing embodied emissions is a global challenge that offers significant carbon reduction potential; in the EU alone, embodied carbon contributes to around 10-20% of buildings’ total CO2 emission footprint.

Ultimately, the EPBD is the single most important legislation targeting the building sector. It requires Member States to set performance levels for their buildings, strategically plan the decarbonisation of the building stock through the long-term renovation strategies and implement additional measures – both financing and advisory tools.

BPIE’s roadmap sets out the necessary steps to introduce whole-life carbon considerations and align the provisions of the EPBD with climate-neutrality goals. It puts forward an overview of the most relevant and urgent actions up to 2050.

This roadmap sends a long-term market signal by setting out a clear vision that provides the rationale and sets the level of ambition for further measures and zeros in on how to integrate whole-life carbon in the policy framework. Considering the next EPBD revision is only planned by end of 2027, the time to get this right is now.

Download the policy roadmap
HIGHLIGHTS
POLICY BRIEFING
EPBD Recast: New provisions need sharpening to hit climate targets

This policy briefing finds that the European Commission’s December 15th EPBD recast proposal does not yet reflect the crucial role the EPBD should play within the Fit for 55 Package and within the greater narrative of securing energy independence. While it is welcome that many provisions are either introduced or open for modification, they will not deliver on the Directive’s objectives if the ambition is not set at the right level, and if measures are not made more stringent and coherent. 

Ultimately, the scope of the EPBD recast proposal is incomplete, as the updated 2050 vision for the building stock only considers the operational phase of emissions from buildings. The long-term vision is also unbalanced, with a focus on reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions mainly through a full switch to renewables, while the “energy efficiency first” principle is not reflected in the outlined provisions. With the legislative process starting, there is now an opportunity to ensure the final Directive is improved and fully aligned with the EU 2030 and 2050 climate and energy efficiency objectives.

Read the policy briefing
REPORT 
Ready for carbon neutral by 2050? Assessing ambition levels in new building standards across the EU
This report provides a close examination of six EU focus geographies. It shines a spotlight on wide-ranging discrepancies between EU countries in their approaches toward building sector decarbonization, both in terms of consistency regarding the definition of ‘NZEB’ as laid out in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and in terms of overall ambition levels. This milestone is important for EU decarbonisation efforts, as the buildings sector accounts for 36% of the EU’s carbon emissions and 40% of its energy use. Given this sizeable footprint, it is critical to ensure that new buildings are NZEBs so that their energy and carbon impact is reduced as much as possible.
The findings suggest that decarbonisation in new buildings in the EU is happening too slowly and inconsistently. The revision of the EPBD over the course of 2021 to 2022 offers a chance to update definitions, energy-performance and renewable-energy benchmarks, ambition levels of standards and other important elements.

The EPBD definition of ‘NZEB’ has not been changed for more than 10 years, and an updated definition will be an important part of the revision process. Another imperative in reviewing NZEB standards is the fact that EU Member States  are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels for heating purposes.
Read the report
REPORT
Implementing the Paris Agreement and reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of buildings: European public policies, tools and market initiatives
The built environment offers significant carbon mitigation potential: decisive policy action will not only address the ongoing climate emergency we are facing, but will also directly reduce energy costs and improve security of supply, and has the potential to create widespread business opportunities and significant numbers of new, local jobs.

Based on this context, the study presented in this report was developed at the request of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) within the framework of the Specific Partnerships for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA). This report discuhttps://www.bpie.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/SPIPA-LCA-2022FINAL.pdfsses policies, tools and market initiatives aimed at reducing upfront emissions – that is, the embodied carbon associated with building construction, including the extraction and processing of materials.

 
Read the report
SURVEY - HAVE YOUR SAY!
US-EU Collaboration on Energy and building policy
Over the past year, BPIE and IMT, together with the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Planning and the European Commission, has engaged in a unique dialogue on energy and building policies, bringing together over 700 stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.

As the partnership is drawing to a close, we would like to take stock and better understand the needs of EU and US stakeholders about energy efficiency and decarbonisation policies, programmes, and strategies in the building sector. Whether you attended one of our webinars or not, your opinion on how we should continue this collaboration is extremely valuable to us.

We would be grateful if you could take five minutes of your time to fill in this survey.
ENEFIRST
Implementing the E1ST principle through a whole system, integrated approach and feedback survey
Implementing Energy Efficiency First requires looking at the entire energy system and using an integrated approach for energy planning and investment. This means considering jointly the possible evolutions in the energy demand and supply to find the optimal balance which takes into account all societal benefits and risks, with a long-term perspective. Discover how to implement the EE1st principle through an integrated approach with a focus on energy planning and energy-related investments in ENEFIRST’S new infographic. And for more details about policy guidelines for integrated approaches, see the latest ENEFIRST report.

Also, after two years, three dissemination webinars, four stakeholders’/experts’ workshops and nine reports already published, your views about your experience with ENEFIRST would be very welcome. Please take part in this quick 5-question survey. Your feedback will be very helpful for the project to prepare the activities and outputs of its last semester.
Download it here
BPIE IN THE NEWS
EVENTS
February 3, 1:00 - 2:30pm CET
Turnkey Retrofit webinar: Business models for One-stop shops – lessons learned from the Turkey Retrofit project 
Turnkey Retrofit developed an integrated home renovation service, leveraging on the business operations of the project partners. Available in France, Spain and Ireland, the service called Solutions4Renovation is tailored to respond to local needs. Each implementing partner will dive into the process of adapting the service, and how they envision its continuation after the project’s end. 
We will answer the following questions:
  • What was the reasoning behind the business model developed by the French, Spanish and Irish partners?
  • Which are the main determinants for the development of a business model?
  • What can the EU do to streamline the business model development and ensure successful replications?
Register here
February - March 2022
X-tendo webinar series on the new developments and testing for better EPCs
The H2020 project X-tendo is launching its webinar series disclosing the developments of its innovative features and the results of the testing in 9 countries. The webinar series will take place between February and March 2022 for a total of 5 webinars. The webinars will guide the audience in a discussion to improve the quality of an EPC combining various innovative elements.
What can you expect from the webinars?
  • Presentations on the work done in X-tendo related to the specific features (background, methodology, materials developed, next steps)
  • Presentations of the testing experiences and verification material in the implementing countries
  • Guest presentations from EPC experts external to X-tendo 
  • Panel discussions and Q&A with the presenters 
The first webinar Assessing comfort in buildings – approaches for the EPCs and building stock will be held on February 8, 2022 will give an introduction to the X-tendo comfort feature and will feature a representative from DG ENER reflecting on EPCs in the context of EPBD and Greece as a test partner presenting their view of things.
More info and registration link to the series
February 22
Turnkey Retrofit Final conference - Scaling up renovation in Europe: The role of one-stop shops in reaching a fully decarbonised building stock
The conference will aim to demonstrate the potential of one-stop shops in delivering a decarbonised and healthy building stock to the EU and will explore the key success factors and what is needed to step up and replicate such services.

Building on the experience of the 3-year long project Turnkey Retrofit, partners will share key learnings, together with other H2020 projects such as PadovaFIT & re-modulees. The Parisian Climate Agency will also present its one-stop shop for multi-family buildings. The event will also be an opportunity to discuss how to better shape policies at EU level that support local and national entities in setting up and deploying one-stop shops.

 
Register here
February 23, 14:00 - 16:00 CET
ENEFIRST Stakeholder workshop: Quantifying Energy Efficiency First in EU scenarios: Implications for buildings and their energy supply
This workshop provides an overview of the main results from three EU scenarios simulated in the ENEFIRST project to assess the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First principle in buildings and energy supply. The project would like to come together with its stakeholders to explore and discuss the model-based results in view of providing inputs to current policy debates.
 
The discussions will be partly in plenary and in breakout groups. The workshop is primarily meant for policy officers, policy analysts, modelling experts and stakeholders interested in results from national or EU energy scenarios. More details will be available soon here.

 
Register here
PAST EVENTS
EU-Russia Exchange on sustainable building policies and measures concluded on January 20, 2022
The Final Conference of the EU-Russia exchange on sustainable building policies and measures reflected on the entire workshop series that was carried out in 2021, summarised the key takeaways and lessons learned regarding differences and similarities, and fostered future collaboration and experience exchange between the key stakeholders. If you took part in any of the events of this exchange, we would like to ask for a few minutes of your time to complete this short survey.

The final report will come out at the end of February. In the meantime, you can find the recordings of the Final Conference and the entire workshop series here.
First BuiltHub webinar. Building a sustainable and meaningful data flow of the EU building stock on January 20, 2022
On January 20, 2022 the BuiltHub project hosted its first webinar on the topic of building a sustainable and meaningful data flow of the EU building stock. In case you missed it, had to leave early or wish to refresh your memory, the presentation from the webinar and the recording of the session are now available online.
US-EU exchange on building standards and codes to drive renovation on January 11, 2022
The fifth webinar in this US-EU exchange series focused on what the status of standards and codes for buildings in the EU and the US are and what the keys for achieving highly energy-efficient new and renovated buildings are. The invited speakers shared their knowledge on European and American codes and standards for buildings, codes for new construction, the European energy performance of buildings standards and the use of minimum energy performance standards to renovate Europe’s existing buildings.

In case you missed the webinar, you can find the presentations here and watch the recording of the webinar here.
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Dear reader,

Yesterday the European Commission published its proposal for the future energy and climate legislation for buildings, the EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive).

Our first analysis finds that many policy tools to reduce energy waste and CO2 emissions will be strengthened, but the rail guards supporting the transformation of the building stock have too many holes. We will have to close them in the political agreement process next year, to avoid that the renovation wave turns into a renovation jam in which buildings literally get stuck on a very low performance level. Dropping the renovation wave would perpetuate Europe’s energy import dependence and would limit its geopolitical diplomatic power which cannot be in the interest of Europeans. The European Parliament and national governments will have to work hard next year to strengthen the Commission’s proposal so that the interests of citizens are reflected. Further, we also need to ensure that the new legislation addresses the full climate impact of buildings. Our new paper on Environmental Product Declarations summarises how much (or how little) is already known about the impact of construction materials.

It is a well-known fact that policy making is not an easy job. Therefore, it is even more important to provide support and assistance to the many people and institutions in Member States in charge of putting effective policies in place. We identify the needs ex