Addressing energy poverty and developing new financial tools to boost energy savings are two things governments could do in practice to go beyond the targets outlined in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and start renovating the European building stock for real.
The EPBD targets are tough but clear enough and it’s now up to member states to enforce these commitments. The risk of the directive being ineffective is high if countries and local authorities do not enforce it correctly.
“The EPBD was only the first step on the road to make our European building stock better,” said the Parliament’s rapporteur on the EPBD, Bendt Bendtsen, during REDay2018, passing symbolically the mantle from EU policymakers to national authorities in charge of implementing it.
Around 200 million buildings need to be renovated before 2050 if Europe wants to keep on track, according to the Renovate Europe platform, a campaign group. The current rate of deep energy renovation stands at 0.15% on average across the 28 EU member states while it should reach 3% per year in order to meet the EPBD targets, it says.
When it comes to the directive’s implementation, the attention is now turning on Long-Term Renovation Strategies (LTRs) that all member states must introduce by 19 March 2020.
The two biggest tests for national LTRs is how they will treat energy poverty and the development of new financial tools to support buildings retrofitting. The two topics are actually interrelated, as low-cost loans and specific advisory services could help who suffers fuel poverty to afford the costs of home renovations.
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