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Summary of the CECODHAS workshop on building refurbishment at the 2010 World Sustainable Energy Days

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At the World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED), attended by 750 participants from 51 countries from the 3rd to 5th of March in Wels Austria, CECODHAS-Housing Europe was invited to address the plenary together with key EU decisions-makers. The theme of this year’s session was ‘Building renovation - towards low energy consumption’. Presenting CECODHAS-Housing Europe Copenhagen Offer and the conclusions of the EPBD internal task force, CECODHAS-Housing Europe Secretary General Claire Roumet made clear that EU policies for energy efficiency should in the future focus more on the lack of coordination and promote a more integrated approach to refurbishment service which at the moment is fragmented. Furthermore, refurbishment investment should be results-oriented and holistic, not based on components.
Refurbishments should also be cost-effective - many of CECODHAS-Housing Europe members have raised concerns about studies which maintain that investments can always be recovered in the short term through reductions in energy bills alone, while in reality, without proper funding optimal refurbishment cannot be carried out.
Finally, she emphasises the need for policies to focus more on people, to have an impact on reducing fuel poverty but also to make sure they have choices. The conclusion of the WSED workshop moderated by Sorcha Edwards of CECODHAS-Housing Europe was that to speed up refurbishment rates there is a real need to convince citizens and authorities of the micro and macro benefits of increasing energy efficiency in terms of comfort, health, financial saving but also employment creation and boosting of economic activity.