Energy efficiency: EBC exchanges with property owners, consumers, and housing representatives

This week, the PadovaFIT and Save the Homes projects organised the event “Rising Energy Prices Driving Energy Renovation: The One-Stop-Shop Solution and the Role of Sectoral Actors” to trigger an open dialogue between key actors for the Renovation wave.

Next to EBC Secretary General talking on behalf of construction SMEs and crafts, the organisers gathered representatives of European property owners, consumers, and housing associations. The panellists discussed the impact of geopolitics on energy and construction, the importance of achieving energy efficient buildings and one-stop-shops for energy renovation as a promising solution.

The Russo-Ukrainian war is heavily affecting energy prices, putting additional pressure on households, owners, and tenants, as well as SMEs while winter is on its way. However, despite rising prices, the demand for home renovation remains high in order to reduce overall energy consumption. This is likely to be even more the case in the future given the ongoing revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), where one of the major negotiations concerns Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) entailing a renovation obligation for property owners. While the introduction of MEPS can be beneficial for the activity of construction companies, the tool must be designed in such a way as not to put an unbalanced financial pressure on property owners, especially the less well-off, but also to consider the reality of the lack of skilled labour in the sector to meet current and future demand.

Renovating an existing building is an exciting yet challenging journey. Gathering increasing support at the EU level, One-stop shops(OSS) offer an attractive alternative to the traditional way of undertaking renovation projects via an integrated solution, indeed OSS supply assistance on multiple or all steps of energy retrofits through a single guidance provider. Highly considered in the political EPBD debates, this tool is considered with great potential to facilitate the cumbersome and complex set of decision-making by citizens through a single-entry, customer-friendly, and tailored-made guidance centre. EBC supports the strengthening and better deployment of OSS through the allocation of EU funds specifically tailored to this purpose, or as an objective of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, notably through dedicated provisions in the recast EPBD.

The EBC Secretary General insisted as well on the need to collect reliable data on the building skills available at national level through a mapping exercise and cross-checking of official statistics so as to have a concrete starting point in the discussions on the upskilling and reskilling needed to cope with the EU’s renovation ambition. Having this data would allow better identifying trades falling short, to better target promotional campaigns for the building trades, update vocational curricula and allow for more informed debates on the labour shortage.

EBC looks forward to further engaging in the debate on the revision of the EPBD, a cornerstone piece of legislation to deliver the Renovation Wave.

To read EBC’s feedback on the EC proposal for the revision of the EPBD, click here.

To read the joint EBC-UIPI position on “One-stop-shops for sustainable renovation: a key tool to inform, motivate, assist and support”, click here