Renovation in practice

This report finds that a variety of already successful building renovation approaches could inspire the future development of renovation policies to deliver deep CO2 savings and cut energy wastage. The study describes five replicable schemes from different European Member States and highlights trigger points for mandatory renovation that can lead to further uptake.

BPIE’s report analyses a variety of approaches and solutions available to tackle the renovation challenge in terms of scale, financing, addressing non-technical barriers, level of ambition or achievement of social objectives. In order to present more tangible results, the five best cases which can inspire and motivate policy-makers across Europe, and even globally, were selected.

These exemplary cases cover different approaches such as: zero-energy for zero-upfront-costs (The Netherlands); a revolving loan fund (Estonia); a large-scale national programme (Germany); a scheme tackling fuel poverty (France) and dedicated energy services for the public sector (United Kingdom). This review is coupled with the identification of critical success factors that should be considered when developing such initiatives. These range from maximising buy-in through stakeholder engagement, access to expert support, tailored financing, quality control to flexibility, political commitment and more.

As experience has shown, reliance on purely voluntary measures does not result in the required level of building renovation, despite attractive financial support available to consumers. This should signal a change in strategy by taking advantage of windows of opportunity, as BPIE recommends in the study. For instance, changes in ownership, building use or works done on a building should be a trigger for energy performance improvements. The 3% annual renovation requirement for central government buildings (EED, Article 5) should be extended to all public buildings. Moreover, social housing should be in the top quartile of energy performance ratings in order to provide comfortable and affordable housing, particularly for households at risk of fuel poverty.

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