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POWER HOUSE Partners joined forces with the Solar Decathlon Europe, to hold the official launch of the Nearly Zero Challenge.

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Speakers at the launch were asked for their views on the project and its aims and if they had strategic tips on the best way forward for housing providers

POWER HOUSE Partners joined forces with the Solar Decathlon Europe, to hold the official launch of the Nearly Zero Challenge.
Speakers at the launch were asked for their views on the project and its aims and if they had strategic tips on the best way forward for housing providers:
Pilar Martinez from the Spanish Ministry, who is responsible for housing, said that she saw the Nearly Zero Energy challenge vital; “In addition to improving the quality of life, it will generate employment and economic growth which is a social necessity in our country.” She called on CECODHAS Housing Europe and the public housing companies in Spain to "continue doing what they have done up until now, and done so well, and also to remain being a hotbed for new ideas as the people involved are actively participating in the project, thus, they know the reality better than anyone else in these cities . They know where the barriers and obstacles lie and which must be tackled and overcome at other levels within the administration".
Leoz Arguelles from DG Enterprise said "I think it is a very important project both from the perspective of the climate and as well as energy dependency. New building standards are vital, but we also have to work on something which is perhaps less attractive: the renovation of existing buildings which consume the most energy. Both objectives are not contradictory but complementary".
Antoni Sorrolla speaking on behalf of the Spanish Social Housing Federation (AVS) said “We have to reduce energy consumption and control the use of natural resources. This initiative helps us to go in that direction.“
Yamina Saheb from the International Energy Agency said “I think it is a very useful initiative for the EU because of zero energy target buildings. We need benchmarking so that we can design policies which are implementable" She stressed that CECODHAS Housing Europe can "play a major role in avoiding to have subsidies going in the wrong direction, especially in social housing, where we have fuel poverty and we expect it to increase in the future."
Angelo Consoli, Director of the Brussels office of Jeremy Rifkin and the Foundation on Economic Trends called for more ambition saying "Actually I think you should be more ambitious -  You should be zero challenge. By now the technology and the businesses are farther ahead than even the bureaucracy. Zero emission buildings and even positive energy buildings are already going up everywhere in Europe." Consoli also stressed that with "This new democratic distributed interactive energy model, the 3rd industrial revolution starts with human capital so you have to engage in a massive retraining programmes and you have to push for the European Union to engage in that."
Speakers made clear that the task at hand is not an easy one but that we are well situated to achieve it.
The video of interviews with speakers will be available soon on the CECODHAS Housing Europe YouTube Channel…stay tuned!

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