The Renovation Wave initiative is a priority under the European Green Deal and the Recovery play for the EU, aimed at increasing the rate and quality of renovation of existing buildings and thereby help decarbonise the building stock. Given the relatively labour-intensive nature of renovation work and the way in which this matches the “green, digital and resilient” ambition of the Commission recovery package, the Next Generation EU Communication talks of regulatory and financial support to “at least doubling the annual renovation rate of existing building stock”.
The consultation, will be open for four weeks with the aim of gathering views and input from a broad range of stakeholders, including national, regional and local authorities, businesses, unions, civil society organisations, education organisations, consumer groups, research and innovation organisations, as well as individual citizens. This will then feed into the Commission deliberations on this initiative. The Commission has confirmed the intention to publish in the autumn a strategic communication and an action plan with concrete measures to deploy faster and deeper renovation.
Last month, the Commission published a roadmap for the Renovation Wave with a 4-week period for public feedback, which closed on 8 June.
In addition to cutting emissions, renovation will lead to reduced energy consumption (and lower household bills), safer and healthier buildings, as well as addressing energy poverty and improving people’s quality of life. In employment terms, renovation will also stimulate numerous local, skilled jobs (especially for SMEs), and thereby also deliver clear benefits to the local economy. The Renovation Wave initiative puts the focus on existing buildings, and renovation with a lower level of inconvenience for people living in the buildings being renovated.
The EU building sector is the largest single energy consumer in Europe responsible for approximately 40% of EU energy consumption and for 36% of the EU CO2 emissions. At the same time, some 75% of existing buildings is energy inefficient (and were constructed before legislation on building performance was in place). Boosting energy performance of buildings to roll out energy efficiency and renewables at a much higher pace is a priority, especially given that 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use by 2050 and that only 1% (on average) of buildings currently undergo renovations each year. This rate will need at least to double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency, renewables and climate objectives.