In focus: Energy efficient buildings – delivering energy and cost savings for EU citizens

The recently adopted revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive supports the EU’s wider effort to reach a carbon neutral economy, while improving people’s quality of life, lowering the energy bills of households and businesses, boosting the construction ecosystem and contributing to Europe’s energy independence in line with the REPowerEU Plan. The Directive has a particular focus on worst-performing buildings and households exposed to energy poverty and vulnerable to energy prices.

Why energy efficiency?

Preventing the avoidable waste of energy significantly reduces the amount of energy we need, allowing us to replace the EU’s traditional dependency on fossil fuels with sustainable energy sources, more efficiently and at a lower cost. Additionally, improved energy efficiency is crucial to reach EU’s energy and climate goals.

The Energy Efficiency First Principle enshrines the importance of energy efficiency into EU law. It means that energy efficiency must be considered by EU countries in all relevant policy and major investment decisions taken in the energy and non-energy sectors.

Buildings, as Europe’s single largest energy consumer – responsible for over 40% of the energy we use and a third of our greenhouse gas emissions – offer significant potential for energy efficiency gains and the integration of renewables. The recently strengthened legislation on the energy performance of buildings delivers on the EU’s Renovation Wave strategy, launched in 2020, which aims to double the renovation rate and foster deep renovation.

For citizens and businesses, improving the energy performance of buildings will make them easier and cheaper to heat or cool to the desired level. It cuts down on unnecessary waste of energy and consumer expenditure due to problems like poorly insulated walls or drafty windows.

With 9.3% of EU citizens unable to keep their homes adequately warm in 2022, energy renovations offer a concrete and durable solution to lift many of these people out of energy poverty. In the construction sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) particularly benefit from a boosted renovations market, as they make up 99% of EU construction companies and 90% of the employment in the sector.

Source: EU Commission

Further information: HERE

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