EPBD: Insights from the 1st EU Peers Summit, the Community for Integrated Home Renovation Services

The inaugural EU Peers Summit, held on 11 June in Brussels, brought together a diverse array of stakeholders committed to the energy efficient renovation of buildings as a major contribution to a zero-emission building stock in the European Union by 2050.

Funded by the European Union’s LIFE programme, EU Peers aims at increasing the impact of one-stop shops (OSS) for residential building renovation across Europe. Indeed, today, hundreds of OSS are already operating all over Europe, with thousands of organisations and actors supporting their activities. With the objective to strengthen and upscale the Integrated Home Renovation Services (IHRS) movement, as a holistic version of OSS, EU Peers aims at acting as the European community of practice for all active public authorities, energy agencies, suppliers, homeowner associations, energy auditors, architects, NGOs, financial institutions, construction companies and other relevant actors in this field.

The event started with a discussion with Stefan Moser, Head of Unit Buildings and Products at the DG Energy of the European Commission. Mr Moser reminded the audience that both the new Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) recognise OSS for energy renovation of buildings as a major tool for achieving a zero-emission building stock by 2050. Member States will need to roll out one OSS for every 80,000 inhabitants or at least one per region and provide advice on energy renovations as well as dedicate services to tackle energy poverty and vulnerable households. To this end, he added that the European Commission is working on guidance to support Member states in these transpositions.

After a thorough presentation of the EU Peers project, representatives of 6 OSS operating in France, Italy, Spain and Hungary exchanged on how to meet the same homeowner’s needs with different OSS models. Then, Fernando Sigchos Jiménez and Emmanuelle Causse, respectively Secretary General of EBC and UIPI, but also representing their shared LIFE project dedicated to IHRS for condominiums CondoReno, were invited to intervene in the session titled “Who can help with strengthening and upscaling the one-stop shop movement?” next to representatives of Energy agencies from Belgium, Portugal and Spain.

Mr Sigchos Jiménez detailed three primary reasons for supporting OSS: their inclusion in the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the complementary nature with the renovation work of construction SMEs and crafts at local level, and their comprehensive support to citizens in navigating the financial, technical, and administrative aspects of renovations.

To strengthen and upscale the OSS movement, several actions were proposed by the speakers, such as mapping OSS models and business cases to ensure consistency and quality of services across the EU while considering local specificities; the need to keep advice provided by OSS impartial and free from commercial interests; or the importance of fostering partnerships among local governments, financial institutions, energy companies, architects, engineers, property owners and construction SMEs to pool resources and expertise. Looking forward, he concluded with the hope that Member States develop a solid financial framework enabling OSS to massify, improve and perform until at least the 2050 deadline for a decarbonized building stock, which hinges on the robust implementation of the recast EPBD to deliver on energy-efficient building renovations.

Concluding, he also highlighted the potential of the EU Peers community to aggregate knowledge from various LIFE projects, formulating joint policy recommendations to reinforce and upscale OSS, ultimately making them more appealing and useful to EU citizens.

This event marked the start of a closer collaboration between CondoReno and EU Peers, with EBC and UIPI bringing the inputs of property owners and construction SMEs and crafts for a holistic and ambitious approach for OSS for energy renovation in Europe.

For more information on the LIFE project CONDORENO, visit: https://condoreno.org/
To read the joint EBC-UIPI position paper (2021) on One-stop-shops for energy renovation: click here
For more information about the LIFE initiative EU Peers, visit: https://www.eu-peers.eu/  
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Programme for Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) MGA — Multi & Mono, under grant agreement No. 101076316.