Investing in energy efficiency in Europe’s buildings

Are businesses ready to go deep in energy efficiency? A question investigated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in a new survey among building-sector and real-estate executives in Europe.

cover Investing in EEThe Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) – in collaboration with its EU partner BPIE – commissioned the EIU to put European industry stakeholders under the spotlight. In the new survey Investing in Energy Efficiency in Europe’s Buildings, the EIU explores how companies in the European building sector approach energy efficiency investments, how they perceive the latest EU regulations, and how innovative financing could help them ramp up retrofits to achieve emission reduction targets.

This survey is a follow-up to the global report Energy efficiency and energy savings – a view from the building sector from October 2012. The report is based on:

  • A survey of 96 EU executives in the building sector (69% from the real estate segment and 31% from the building construction sector);
  • Four in-depth interviews with experts and C-level executives in the EU building sector;
  • Desk research based on the newest data and reports on the topic.

The key findings of the report are resumed below:

  • The financial crisis, which has caused downward pressure on real estate valuations across much of the EU, has highlighted the need for renovation of existing building stock;
  • EU companies are relatively active in retrofitting buildings compared with their counterparts in other regions, but efforts need to double to meet EU energy-efficiency goals by 2020,
  • The EU has taken some positive steps to improve regulation, but ambiguity regarding definitions of what constitutes a “deep retrofit” and a “nearly zero-energy building” affects implementation at national levels,
  • Regulatory uncertainty should not be an excuse as waiting on the sidelines in anticipation of better laws exposes companies to the risk of asset depreciation;
  • Attracting large institutional investors in retrofit finance will require energy efficiency project aggregators.
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