EU Science Hub

Buildings Renovation: data supporting investment measures

Deep renovations would generate a total energy saving potential of almost 60% of current consumptions
Deep renovations would generate a total energy saving potential of almost 60% of current consumptions
Feb 19 2021

Building energy renovation for decarbonisation and Covid-19 recovery is a recently published JRC study.

It contains information and datasets offering European and national decision-makers guidance on allocating renovation resources for maximum return, while ensuring a balanced regional development within the framework of the Renovation Wave and the national Recovery and Resilience Plans.

The study identifies the most critical European areas and it quantifies, for each European region, the energy saving potential of building renovation, as well as investment needs and impact on occupations.

Identified by a map-based description of the regional residential building stock, the energy saving potential is discussed along with further proposals to generate data at local level.

The JRC report can contribute to the implementation of Long-Term Renovation Strategies (LTRS) of the Member States.

Key factors that affect the energy consumption of buildings are climatic conditions and the quality of the building stock, in terms of energy efficiency (often dependent on the age of the building).

Access to finance for households and private investors, and the split incentive issue within multi-family buildings are among the barriers preventing the currently low renovation rates to increase across  the EU. An analysis of these data identified two main types of critical areas in Europe:

  • Regions in a critical economic situation (such as some areas of Italy, Greece and Bulgaria);
  • Metropolitan areas in cold climates (such as Bruxelles, Berlin and Wien), where the average age of buildings and the share of rental apartments are the highest.

Facts and figures from the report

  • Approximately 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050; 75% of this stock is energy inefficient
  • Millions of households in the EU experience energy poverty because of energy inefficient buildings and appliances, high energy expenditures, low household incomes and specific household needs
  • An increased annual renovation rate, from the current average of 1% to well above 2% within the next 10 years and maintained thereafter, will result in the renovation of almost 80% of existing homes by 2050
  • Deep renovations would generate a total energy saving potential of almost  60% of current consumptions, which, in turn, would allow for a 10% reduction of the current total EU primary energy consumption and approximately a 20% jobs increase in the construction sector
  • An annual retrofit rate of 2% of the EU building stock (together with some electrification of heat demand) would lead to a 25% drop in projected peak monthly gas demand in buildings by 2040


The European Green Deal foresees to implement the ‘Renovation Wave’ strategy in the building sector, aiming to:

  • at least double the annual energy renovation rates in the next ten years and enhance the quality of life of building occupants,
  • reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions,
  • create additional green jobs in the construction sector. Recently, the European Commission launched the design phase of the New European Bauhaus initiative, an environmental, economic and cultural project that combines design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment in order to help deliver the European Green Deal.

The Commission has also published the “Renovate” priority flagship component as part of its guidance to Member States on the preparation of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans.