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Energy savings potential in buildings and overcoming market barriers in member states of the European Union

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In this study the barriers to energy savings and the policy measures set up to overcome these barriers were mapped by interviewing stakeholders in ten European Union member states (MS). In addition, an estimate of energy savings potential was calculated. It seems that in most countries cost-effective energy savings of about 10% can be achieved by 2020 and 20% by 2030. A total annual energy savings of approximately 150 TWh by 2020 and approximately 280 TWh by 2030 appears possible. This can be compared to the total annual primary energy consumption of 21,000 TWh in all EU countries combined. Barriers and policies to overcome them were also studied. This was based on a literature review, stakeholder interviews and in-depth homeowner interviews in ten MS. A commonly cited problem was that people are not keen to improve energy efficiency of their homes as it does not proportionately increase the value of the property. Another widespread problem was that energy prices do not include all the negative external costs that the use of energy causes, such as pollution contain. The most commonly reported public policy measures in use related to information dissemination and subsidies for energy efficiency retrofits.