European countries must quickly develop more ambitious plans for retrofitting buildings with energy efficiency measures, according to campaigners and a leading international council.
With just six months left until EU nations must deliver their national renovation strategies, the Renovate Europe campaign and the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network are urging governments to put forward ambitious strategies that they say will help lower energy bills and secure investment in jobs and growth.
As part of The Energy Efficiency Directive, every EU member state must publish a long-term plan for renovating their building stock to be more energy efficient by 30 April next year.
James Drinkwater, senior policy advisor of the Europe Regional Network, says, “Governments around Europe cannot afford to miss the chance to improve their economies and the lives of those who live, learn and work in Europe’s buildings. They must seize the opportunity.”
The network says that encouraging investment in the energy efficiency sector that could produce as many as two million jobs. They say that the industry is in a position where it could deliver instant success, but say long-term confidence is needed.
They also add that ambitious retrofitting strategies are essential if the EU is to meet its long-term targets in efforts to prevent climate change. The EU has set a target of saving 20% of its projected 2020 energy consumption through improvements in energy efficiency.
However, there are many other supposed benefits to increasing energy efficiency in our buildings. In September, the World Green Building Week 2013 highlighted how living and working in sustainable buildings could be better for our health.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said at the time, “We often hear about the environmental and financial benefits of green buildings, but less attention is paid to the impact on those who live and work in them.
“Whether it’s improved productivity in offices, faster recovery rates in hospitals or better exam results in schools, sustainable buildings don’t just deliver important benefits for planet and profit.