Tackling energy consumption in European buildings is vital. Nearly 40% of final energy consumption is attributable to housing, offices, shops and other buildings across the public and private sector. Consequently, a major and sustained increase in public and private investment in buildings is needed for the European Union (EU) to meet its 2020 climate change and energy objectives and to take forward its 2050 decarbonisation agenda.
In the 2014‐2020 programming period, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds), and specifically Cohesion Policy Funds1, are expected to play a major role in relation to the refurbishment and construction of buildings with the allocation of a minimum of €23bn to sustainable energy (SE) in this period. These funds are governed by the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) as well as fund‐specific regulations.
Under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), a minimum percentage of funding will be directed to the shift towards a low‐carbon economy in all sectors (Thematic Objective 4), including energy efficiency (EE), renewable energies (RE), smart distribution systems and sustainable urban mobility: 20% in the case of more developed regions, 15% for transition regions and 12% for less developed regions3, which receive more funding overall. As a result, a greater amount of funding will be available for the energy renovation of buildings.
This guidance document aims to help Cohesion Policy Managing Authorities (MAs) plan and deploy SE investments in buildings within Operational Programmes (OPs). It provides a list of good practice approaches and case studies and informs MAs about the European requirements on buildings and EE. It also explores the different financing mechanisms that MAs can use to support SE projects within an OP, with the objective of launching large scale investments in the energy renovation of buildings and attracting greater levels of private sector investment.