The World Sustainable Energy Days, which take place in Austria from 1 to 3 March, are one of the biggest events about sustainable energy in Europe. At the Energy Efficiency Conference EBC addressed the topic of the key role of construction SMEs for the energy renovation of the European building stock.
In 2015 the renovation sector made up 57% of the construction sector’s turnover, with a strong increase from 47% in 2005. In 2015 energy retrofitting works were worth over € 100 billion, roughly 15% of the total turnover of construction activities in the EU.
Considering that 75% of the EU building stock is residential, the vast majority of this turnover is created in the housing sector.
Need for a paradigm shift
Up to 19 jobs may be created in construction per € 1 million invested, according to some studies. However, the energy renovation sector needs a paradigm shift to optimise the benefits of energy efficiency:
- The cooperation within the value chain needs to be deepened: manufacturers and installers should create partnerships to work together;
- Aggregation and consortia of small companies is key to better deal with renovation projects;
- The sector needs third-party financing such as the Juncker Plan, while SMEs should get more involved in the ESCO Market;
- Training and upskilling construction professionals in the field of energy renovation is a priority to build a new generation of construction SMEs fully up-to-speed with the increased needs of the market.