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Energy efficiency in buildings

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Setis magazing No.21 – October 2019

Europeans spend approximately 90 % of their time in buildings. Living indoors requires energy to maintain the right temperature, to cook and to use electrical appliances. In fact, energy is expected to guarantee a healthy and comfortable environment. Of all the sectors in Europe, the building sector consumes the most energy, and thus emits the most CO2. As a result, policymakers have made buildings a priority in the EU energy policy agenda. They are the focus of the first pillar of the strategic long-term vision for a climate-neutral economy by 2050 (LTS 2050), with a strong emphasis on energy efficiency.


Buildings are not only central to the long-term strategy, but they also play an important role in the directives designed to implement it. Beyond the legislative tools, the European Commission set up the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. Specifically, under the priority on developing and strengthening energy-efficient systems, buildings play a crosscutting role across all the actions. They are therefore included in all working groups dealing with renewable heating and cooling.


This edition of SETIS Magazine takes a closer look at the current status of the EU building stock and its future evolution. It discusses the energy transformation of Europe’s buildings, along with the challenges and policy actions ahead. We bring together experts from the research and policy communities to discuss the most relevant and pressing issues on energy efficiency in buildings today. Their input sheds light on the question: What is the potential contribution of buildings in the transition to climate neutrality in 2050?