ITRE Committee approves INI report on energy efficient buildings

ITRE Committee votes in favour of own-initiative report on energy efficient building stock

7 July 2020 
Brussels, Belgium

Yesterday, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee voted in favour of an Own Initiative Report on Maximising the Energy Efficiency Potential of the EU Building Stock. The text is meant to fed into the discussion on the Renovation Wave after its final adoption in Parliament’s Plenary in September.

UIPI welcomes the objective of the report. Improving the energy efficiency and  sustainability of our built environment is a matter of great importance for our association. Property owners, be they owner-occupier households or individual/professional landlords, have a crucial role to play in the transition towards a decarbonise building stock. Innovative tools such as one-stop-shops are rightly considered in the report as key services to be created and sustained at local level, while the need to reduce the cost of housing, construction and renovation in general as well as the necessary flexibility in the choice of technologies used are acknowledged. The Parliament also accurately calls for the removal of barriers to the absorption of EU and national funds, among others by simplifying the criteria and their blending, by ensuring adequate technical assistance, as well as by recognising the need to further support and aggregate smaller projects. 

Yet we deplore the fact that the report opted for a more constraining approach rather than focusing on an incentivising one. Promoting more stringent measures and standards, such as mandatory energy performance standards and binding annual renovation rates to be attained, is not the right approach to get people and key actors on board, all the more so in the present economic context. The only way to make the transition towards a carbon-neutral building stock by 2050 is to have a clear and stable regulatory framework in place, able to address appropriately the challenges faced by renovation project holders and making sure that the relevant technical, regulatory and financial barriers are tackled in the most effective way.

“The upcoming Renovation Wave can be an important part of the economic recovery. To do so, we need to send the right signal by enabling, empowering and facilitating the renovation journey for everyone.” stressed Emmanuelle Causse, UIPI Secretary General.

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