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Delayed and non-compliant Long-term renovation strategies undermine emissions reductions in Europe’s building sector

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New report from BPIE – the Buildings Performance Institute Europe - highlights that more than half of EU Member States are six months late to submit their national Long-Term Renovation Strategies (LTRS), a key element of Europe’s strategy to decarbonise the building stock. Of those submitted only one is fully compliant with EU legislation.


While the European Green Deal clearly stresses that action in the building sector should start from implementation of existing legislation,  the report shows that as of 15 September, only 12 countries (Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden) and two of the three regions of Belgium (Flanders and Brussels Capital Region) had submitted their LTRS to the European Commission.[1]


The report’s assessment of available LTRS (as published on the website of the European Commission on 15 September 2020) finds available strategies to be largely non-compliant with provisions of the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive[2] (EPBD), in particular Article 2a. All but one strategy (Spain) are  deficient in many areas, such as  assessing the wider benefits of building renovation, in presenting the implementation details of the 2017 renovation strategies, and in consulting with the public on the strategy and its implementation.


In Europe, while buildings account for 40% of total energy consumed, the annual renovation rate remains at around 1%. According to the European Commission’s 17 September Communication on stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition, [3] this rate must at least double in order to achieve a more ambitious 2030 climate target of at least 55%.


Oliver Rapf, Executive Director of BPIE, asserts that delays in submission and non-compliance with the EPBD could indeed jeopardize emissions reductions in buildings.


Our analysis shows that Member States need to immediately step up effort to rapidly decarbonise the building stock,” says Rapf. “My hope is that the European Commission and the national governments are aware that people expect political leadership not only in words but also in action. Launching a European Renovation Wave with clear actions and a timetable would be a strong signal.”


Under the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, EU countries must establish a long-term renovation strategy to support renovation of their national building stock into a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050, as set forth in the amending Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2018/844/EU).


The 2018 revision was made to ensure that the buildings sector could meaningfully contribute to a clean energy transition by 2030. A key pillar of that revision is the strengthening of the requirement on building renovation strategies. According to EPBD Article 2a, each Member State must prepare a new comprehensive long-term renovation strategy and had to submit this to the European Commission by 10 March 2020.


BPIE intends to publish an analysis reviewing the ambition of selected LTRS later in 2020 examining their ambition, in particular whether the roadmap is consistent with the EPBD requirement of delivering an energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050, and whether the LTRS has a credible strategy and policy framework to mobilise action for and investment in building renovations.


Read the report


[2] Directive (EU) 2018/844 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency.


[3] COM(2020) 562 final -


About BPIE


BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) is Europe’s leading centre of expertise on decarbonising the built environment, providing independent analysis, knowledge dissemination and evidence-based policy advice and implementation support to decision-makers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Founded in 2010, BPIE combines expertise on energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and health and indoor environment with a deep understanding of EU policies and processes.


A not-for-profit think-tank based in Brussels and Berlin, our mission is to make an affordable, carbon-neutral built environment a reality in Europe and globally.