“Better renovating: lessons from Europe” Report

A photo of the project management meeting on september 2020

The report “Better renovating: lessons from Europe” published on November 24 analyses the public policies and solutions implemented in four European countries (Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden) and identifies courses of action to accelerate energy renovation of buildings in Europe. To catch up with the current delay, it pleads for massive investments and an overhaul of the aid system in order to make energy renovation more efficient. The report calls into question the predominance of “logic by gestures”: isolated acts of renovation, such as changing a boiler or insulating a roof, generally do not allow major energy gains. The report also recommends the reduced VAT rate to 5.5% on energy renovation.

All the countries studied observe an improvement in the energy performance of their housing stock, even if Sweden is the only one to have achieved an almost total decarbonisation of the sector. According to the report, Sweden owes its success to a continuous effort over several decades, including demanding energy performance standards, investments in district heating networks and more recently towards electric heating with heat pumps, accompanied by a tax carbon. Germany, for its part, stands out for the diversity of its public policies, including significant subsidies to households and companies conditional on the achievement of results with a strong role of the public investment bank. In the Netherlands, the strengths identified are the governance of the sector and the development of local solutions to allow the exit from the park of carbonaceous heating sources and the development of roadmaps for the public park. The experience of the United Kingdom on the implementation of the obligations to renovate thermal strainers are considered enlightening for these sectoral policies.

Author: Xavier Casanovas (RehabiMed)