35 million buildings in the european union to be renovated within ten years to protect the climate. A mix of stricter energy-saving requirements for homeowners and new financial aid is to be the incentive for the billions of euros of investment needed.
This is the result of the strategy for a "renovation wave", which the EU commission presented on wednesday. Instead of one percent of the stock per year, twice as much will be modernized in the future.
Europe's 220 million buildings consume 40 percent of the energy used in the EU and produce 36 percent of greenhouse gases. In order to achieve the EU commission's proposed target of a 55 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, energy demand in buildings must be reduced by 14 percent, the commission calculates. In concrete terms, houses need new heating systems, windows or insulation.
The renovation wave could reach 160.Create 000 jobs and at the same time help burgers to print their heating costs, said EU commission vice frans timmermans. "We want everyone in europe to have a home they can light, heat or cool without draining the bank account or wrecking the planet."
But the investment needs are huge: the commission estimates an additional 275 billion euros a year. Aid for this is to come, among other things, from the planned 750-billion-euro program against the corona economic crisis. In addition, there are public guarantees from the long-running program investeu. Local and regional authorities can also receive financial injections, whether from cohesion funds or a local energy program called ELENA. Because public authorities should also maintain their buildings, such as schools, clinics and social housing. Banks, moreover, had an interest in financing renovations that would increase value, timmermans said.
More stringent energy-saving targets should provide additional pressure. For example, energy efficiency and energy consumption guidelines for buildings are to be reviewed in 2021. The goal is stronger commitments to energy efficiency in buildings. There are also plans for the gradual introduction of minimum energy standards for existing buildings from the end of 2021. The concrete draft laws are to follow in the next few months.
The federation of german industries called the planned "renovation wave" sensible. "It has the potential to trigger a real push for energy-efficient building renovation in public and private buildings in the eu," praised BDI deputy chief executive holger losch. "Because of its high local value creation, building refurbishment is suitable as an economic driver."However, the impetus may be too weak to achieve the set goals.
The european SPD also fundamentally buried the plan to save climate gases in buildings. But renovation must not lead to a higher rent burden, warned SPD member of the european parliament jens geier. "After all, it can"t be that we save greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy poverty through renovations, but at the same time people can no longer pay their rent."
Timmermans acknowledged that this is "the perennial question" when it comes to refurbishing homes. Often tenants had preferred to live in run-down buildings for fear of rent increases. Political solutions are needed in the EU member states. "We are serious about not leaving anyone in the lurch," said timmermans.