Towards a decarbonised EU building stock – Expert views on the issues and challenges facing the transition

The results from the recent survey developed by BPIE show that a large majority of respondents support a full decarbonization of the buildings sector, while at the same time concede that the EU is not on track to achieve this goal by 2050.

The latest version of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) aims to achieve a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050, and compels Member States to develop respective roadmaps, guidelines and measurable, targeted actions.

In order to garner the views on issues and challenges facing the transition, BPIE developed a survey to ask building professionals from across Europe their views on the policies and actions needed to accelerate and realise the transition to a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock. In total, 71 experts responded to the online survey, which was conducted by RAND over a 6-week period in February-March 2018. Experts came from 17 different EU Member States. Nearly half of respondents represented the private sector, while a quarter were from research institutes.

Shifting towards the EPBD 2018 vision of an energy efficient and decarbonised EU building stock by 2050 is seen by experts as an important policy objective for the EU, even though the vast majority consider that the EU is currently not on track to achieve this. Given the complexity of the sector, there is no single solution to the issue. Notwithstanding the revised EPBD, experts considered that stronger policies and regulatory measures resulting in improved energy performance of buildings are needed to deliver a decarbonised building stock. Mandatory measures such as minimum performance standards, better enforcement and banning inefficient or high carbon products are considered to be among the most important actions.

Whilst this survey flags up the key issues affecting the sector, further effort is required in order to develop an appropriate policy mix in a given market, and to ensure that supporting measures, financing options and engagement strategies are properly aligned to engage building owners in the transition to a decarbonised building stock.

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