Why getting consumers on board Europe’s Renovation Wave is key for it to succeed
Over 30 million Europeans are unable to afford keeping their home adequately warm1 and many more live in inefficient homes. The European Commission’s Renovation Wave Strategy therefore aims to remove the barriers consumers face with energy efficient retrofits through different initiatives, including the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings and Energy Efficiency Directives later this year.
In a new position paper, BEUC argues that for the EU’s Renovation Wave Strategy to be a success and to get consumers on board, we need to address the numerous barriers consumers face when renovating their homes and steer the funding so that it reaches those who need it the most.
Energy efficiency in buildings is a no-brainer: it leads to lower energy consumption and costs, as well as better indoor air quality and health improvement for consumers. However, to make it a reality for consumers, it needs to become easier for them to renovate their homes. That is why we are calling on the European Commission to:
- Ensure consumers are given easy access to local energy advisors that are independent of energy suppliers or banks. These energy advisors should be available in one-stop-shops, who should provide consumers with support and access to quality installers to carry out the renovation works
- Provide a sufficient number of accredited installers for consumers by supporting and guiding EU countries, local authorities and the building industry on how to scale-up installer training
- Make it easy for consumers to finance their home renovation by allowing for innovative financial products from either banks and/or the public sector
Part of Europe’s Green Deal, the Renovation Wave aims to increase the EU’s climate resilience and is core to the EU’s recovery strategy. However, to be aligned with the Paris agreement, the annual renovation rate will need to not only double but increase from 1% to 4% of the housing stock annually, and deep retrofits – that ensure the biggest energy savings – at least tenfold.
Consumers are willing and ready to play their part in this green housing transition but they need guidance and support along the way. Home renovation needs demystifying and consumers will only get on board if policy makers make it easier for them to do so.