EUSEW: Highlights of the joint EBC-Efficients Building Europe policy session on scaling up energy renovation

As part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2024, Efficient Buildings Europe (formerly EuroAce) and the European Builders Confederation (EBC) co-organised the policy session entitled “Joining forces to scale up energy renovation” in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building yesterday, launching a discussion on the potential role of industry partnerships in promoting efficient buildings. The event featured a multi-sector debate involving DG Energy and key stakeholders from the energy, renewables and construction sectors.

The session began with an introduction and welcome remarks by Julie Kjestrup, President of Efficient Buildings Europe and the event’s moderator. After a presentation by EIT InnoEnergy on the successes of the European Battery Alliance, attention turned to the round table on the challenges and potential of an industrial partnership for efficient buildings.

Alongside EBC Secretary General Fernando Sigchos Jiménez, Katrine Bjerre M. Eriksen from SYNERGI shared the experience of the Danish Public-Private Climate Partnership and Anett Ludwig from SolarPower Europe explained the results of the European PV Industry Alliance. Additionally, Wiebe Verhoeven from the public agency Urban.Brussels shared insights on the success of the Renolution Alliance on Buildings in Brussels, while Anne Katherina Weidenbach, from the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, recalled the Commission’s landmark achievements in the area, mentioning the new directives on energy efficiency and the energy performance of buildings.

On the opportunities side, Mr Sigchos Jiménez pointed out that focusing specifically on buildings could bring much-needed political attention to the renovation of the existing building stock, which is crucial to any EU environmental and economic ambition. However, given the difficulties of achieving a holistic approach to the construction sector, he addressed the significant challenge of avoiding further fragmentation by strictly separating buildings from construction, as creating new layers could cause confusion among policymakers and economic operators and add coordination problems. Furthermore, as innovation often struggles to reach SMEs in the construction sector, decoupling buildings from construction could undermine the development and adoption of integrated solutions that enhance both energy efficiency and construction quality. Renovating buildings is crucial to achieving the ambition of the Green Deal and the Renovation Wave, therefore now is the time to unite all stakeholders of the construction and energy value chains to deliver on Europe’s energy efficiency renovation goals as they were defined during the past five years.

In discussing how SMEs could facilitate better cooperation and communication across the renovation value chain, he emphasized the importance of keeping the construction, building and craft trades attractive and leveraging local networks to build trust and relationships. To conclude, he stressed the need to improve the digital literacy and environmental awareness of entrepreneurs, workers, and apprentices through horizontal and pragmatic training programs.

After exchanges with the audience on one-stop-shops for renovation guidance, energy poverty and affordable housing, district heating, and the forthcoming National Building Renovation Plans, the speakers identified as topics of common interest to accelerate the renovation of the building stock at the local level, the need to develop better guidance for EU citizens so that they are accompanied throughout the renovation process and to map the workforce and competences requirements to ensure a genuine skills transition in construction.

In conclusion, the session highlighted the need to continue the discussion on the most appropriate scale and level of action for fruitful and collaborative industrial partnerships to step up energy renovation efforts.

From left to right: Julie Kjestrup, Efficient Buildings Europe; Annett Ludwig, Solar Power Europe; Katrine Bjerre M. Eriksen, Synergi; Fernando Sigchos Jiménez, EBC; Pénélope Nabet, EIT InnoEnergy; Wiebe Verhoeven, Urban.Brussels; and Anna Katherina Weidenbach, European Commission
For more information on the EUSEW 2024, visit the website: