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European Re-Building Forum launch at EUSEW

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European Partners for the Environment (EPE) welcomes the official launch of the “European Re-Building Forum” at the EU Sustainable Energy Week on 25 March 2010 during the joint EPE-EUROFUEL event. The European Re-Building Forum is being set up as a face-to-face, action-based place to facilitate the exchange of established best practice and evolving innovative solutions, to achieve the energy-efficient retrofitting of Europe’s existing building stock. The Forum’s unique offering is that it covers the whole value chain of the construction and heating/cooling sectors.

Commenting on the Forum launch, Mr. Tom Vereijken – EPE President and Director Water at Grontmij said: "The Forum is a platform which enables the integration of expertise to accelerate the implementation of the estimated 38% cost-effective savings potential in existing buildings by 2020. The Forum will also help member States to coherently implement relevant EU buildings legislation at national level. The Forum will enable front-runners to get successful “bottom up” initiatives into the mainstream. This in turn creates a scaling-up effect, which will allow existing EU buildings to be upgraded to cost-optimal energy performance standards”.

The European Re-Building Forum has a provisional Steering Committee, which will be playing a key role in setting the vision and priorities of all Forum activities in 2010 and which is presently composed of the organisations that supported the first exploratory meeting of the Forum in January 2010: European Partners for the Environment (EPE), the Build Up initiative of the European Commission, the French Ministry of the Environment, the Dutch Energy Transition Platform for the Built Environment (PeGO), Eurofuel (the European Heating Oil Association) and its member UPEI, the Local Government for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the EUREC Agency (European Renewable Energy Research Centres).

Two Forum plenary meetings will take place each year, at the end of which partners will present an annual “State of Progress” report on partnerships along the value chain of the building sector to speed up retrofitting of existing buildings at Member States level. In addition, two technical Working Groups will be set up:

(1) Energy Conservation & Saving; and

(2) Efficient Energy Generation & Use.

The expected outcomes of each working groups will be two-fold:

  1. POLICY LEVEL - Progress in implementing relevant buildings legislation at EU Member States level and policy recommendations;
  2. TECHNICAL LEVEL - Proposals for retrofitting programs and pilot bankable projects at EU Member State level, including a number of financing tools and mechanisms that will provide the resources needed by investors to implement the bankable projects.
The detailed topics of the working groups will be chosen after wide consultation. Preliminary assessment indicates that the most relevant topics include:
  • Mandatory v. non-mandatory retrofitting targets;
  • Best available technologies for commercial and residential buildings;
  • Financing renovation for the residential sector, via performance contracting schemes.
Participation to the Forum plenary meetings and working groups is voluntary and attendance is open to all stakeholders who belong to the value chain of the building and heating/cooling sectors and who wish to make a concrete contribution to the discussions.
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