Retrofitting quota and minimum standards needed in EU building efficiency regulation – analysis
(Clean Energy Wire, 13 Mar 2023) A binding retrofitting quota and clear minimum standards for energy efficiency in buildings are needed in the EU to get the bloc on track towards reaching its emissions reduction targets in the sector, according to new findings from an analysis by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).
The current quota to retrofit one percent of existing buildings in Germany is much too low to meet the sector’s emissions reduction targets, which could not be achieved by simply replacing fossil heating systems with renewables-based alternatives like heat pumps alone, the analysis found. The analysis showed Germany had been unable to increase the quota since 2010, while it managed to modernise about four percent of the building stock in the former East German states in the years following reunification.
A binding EU quota would allow companies to plan their investments accordingly and ensure enough skilled workers and building materials are available, the DIW argued. By adding minimum standards to the legislation, the EU could ensure the most inefficient buildings in the stock are addressed first, a measure that not only leads to fast emission reduction but also benefits poorer households by permanently reducing their energy consumption and thus costs.
The German industry’s energy efficiency initiative DENEFF commented that an upcoming vote in the European Parliament, scheduled for 14 March, must deliver “concrete measures” for the energy performance of buildings.