Joint Letter: Energy efficient, renewable and flexible buildings – an integrated approach to the “Renovation wave” will secure climate-neutrality and deliver green growth for Europe

Dear Mr Cuffe MEP,

Dear Members of the European Parliament,

The undersigned European business associations, NGOs and civil society organisations welcome the launch of a Parliamentary debate on the “Renovation Wave” to inspire the proposal by the Commission in autumn 2020.

The achievement of climate neutrality by 2050 requires a cross-sectorial effort. The building stock in the EU must provide a significant contribution as it accounts for over 36% of EU CO2 emissions and approximately half of its total primary energy demand. In a fast- changing energy system, the path towards a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock is key. We trust that your report “Maximising the energy efficiency potential in the EU building stock” will recognise and promote fully integrated renovations for efficient, renewables-based and flexible buildings.

Considering the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the “Renovation wave” takes another critical dimension. The European roadmap for recovery and economic stimulus that will follow should be seized as an opportunity to boost a renewed European economic growth, with sustainability at its core.

Better buildings can deliver on that, achieving climate neutrality by:

  • Minimising energy consumption;
  • Generating renewable energy on-site and/or consuming green energy;
  • Adapting their energy consumption in a flexible way, in response to signals received by the surrounding energy system.

Better buildings will also foster a new European way of life and green growth by:

  • Improving citizens’ well-being and contribute to cleaner air in our cities;
  • Delivering a just and inclusive societal transition by securing green jobs and providing concrete solutions to tackle energy poverty;
  • Supporting an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy that enables growth for pioneering companies in integrated energy solutions for buildings.

Your work can make a difference and we rely on your support and concrete actions to roll-out the existing solutions to make our buildings better:

  • Set-up a multi-level implementation platform for integrated building renovation strategies to engage local, regional, national and EU players across all sectors and support Member States in their execution of their Long-Term Renovation Strategies. The Climate Pact or the Open Platforms for Renovation could be used as a vehicle for this initiative;
  • Revamp blended financing mechanisms and make them accessible to all citizens, building owners, energy managers, energy communities, cities, and SMEs, notably by creating a one-stop-shop that incorporates all EU support schemes available for energy efficient, renewable and flexible buildings;
  • Address the urgent need for a skilled and knowledgeable workforce in all trades and specialised crafts of the building sector, notably through targeted actions within the updated Skills Agenda for Europe in 2030, the European Pact for Skills and the Sector Skills Alliances;
  • Recognise aggregated buildings as crucial infrastructures in view of the upcoming proposal of the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation;
  • Develop tools that raise awareness of the benefits of energy renovations amongst EU citizens and businesses, accompanying citizens and building owners in their renovation journey;
  • Promote renovation strategies that overcome decision-making fragmentation and adapt to the particularities of the built environment in order to address challenges posed by building stock fragmentation and heterogeneity.

The European Parliament has the opportunity to set the right ambition level for Europe’s renovation wave. We urge you to seize this opportunity and embrace the abovementioned holistic set of recommendations when shaping your first position on the “Renovation Wave” for Europe.

Download the letter in PDF