Renovation wave

A refurbished and improved building stock in the EU will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system, as the building sector is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe, responsible for more than one third of the EU's emissions.

Renovation of both public and private buildings is an essential measure in this context, and has been singled out in the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the sector and deliver on objectives. 

Energy gains and economic growth

The renovation wave will address current low decarbonisation and renovation rates of around 1% across the EU and tackle the underlying barriers for improving the energy efficiency of the EU building stock. Currently, roughly 75% of the building stock is energy inefficient, yet almost 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050.

Renovation is a major opportunity for economic growth as it provides jobs and boosts the construction sector, which is largely dominated by local businesses, while strengthening Europe’s industrial competitiveness. Building renovation is therefore central to the post-COVID 19 economic recovery, and was specifically referred to in the recovery plan published by the European Commission on 27 May 2020.

The renovation wave initiative will build on measures agreed under the Clean energy for all Europeans package, notably the requirement for each EU country to publish a long-term building renovation strategy (LTRS), other aspects of the amending Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings ((EU) 2018/844), and building-related aspects of each Member State’s national energy and climate plans (NECP).

Process and next steps

As a preparatory step, the Commission published a roadmap on the initiative in May 2020, with a 4-week period for public feedback. On 12 June, the Commission launched a 4-week public consultation to feed into the Commission preparation of this initiative.

The Commission plans to publish in autumn 2020 a strategic Communication and an action plan on the initiative for the years to come. They will cover concrete legislative and non-legislative measures and enabling tools, financing and non-financing aspects, and take into account different levels of action at EU, national and local or regional level, to make faster and deeper renovation.

Next steps

  • The public consultation remains open until 9 July 2020 (midnight Brussels time).
  • The Commission is organising on 23 June a digital session at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2020 to discuss the Renovation wave initiative, and is in close contact with Member States, the EU Council, the European Parliament and a broad range of stakeholders.

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