Decarbonising the Housing Stock – A housing sector perspective

Decarbonisation of the EU housing stock through contextualised EU climate policies A housing sector perspective

October 2021 
Brussels, Belgium

10 organisations, under the umbrella of the European Housing Forum (EHF), have jointly published a set of recommendations to ensure that the transition towards a decarbonised housing stock is achieved with extra prudence and regard to specific considerations, following the release of the first batch of the Fit for 55 package in July 2021, and ahead of the second one planned for December, in particular the proposal for amending the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) 

The decarbonisation of the European housing stock, while making it affordable, safer and accessible, is a matter of great importance for our organisations. Better performing buildings can ensure healthier and safer environments for all citizens. Together we represent housing consumers – be they tenants, owner-occupiers, or households at risk of housing deprivation – housing providers such as private, social and public housing landlords and private developers, as well as housing professionals including builders, architects, chartered surveyors and real estate agents and managers.  

The recommendations include: 

  • Prioritising measures that demonstrably lead to the greatest CO2 reductions for the lowest costs for building owners and residents; 
  • Refraining from one-size-fits-all solutions 
  • Providing guarantees for any introduction of new mandatory requirements, including MEPS 
  • Activating dedicated funding 
  • Enabling quality and targeted training and re/up-skilling of workers and professionals across the sector 
  • Ensuring the successful roll-out of One-Stop-Shops (OSS) 

The Renovation Wave has been conceived as a unique opportunity to facilitate the transition towards a more sustainable, energy efficient and integrated building stock. For this Wave to be successful across Europe, it needs to bring forward its enabling role, guarantee real CO2 emission savings and only carefully introduce possible binding objectives in order to assist the European housing sector in is path to decarbonisation. This important objective of climate policy should work for all sectors and with the citizens. The Renovation Wave across EU households therefore needs to be set at a right pace, both economically and socially. Moreover, such an important transition requires further investments in development of relevant skills and capacities in the construction sector. Only once all the pieces of the puzzle will be joined together, could the Renovation Wave realise the expected ambition. Enabling the housing sector to do its part is therefore the crucial part of this unprecedented endeavour.  

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