Energy efficiency

Energy 13-04-2021

Energy efficiency must apply across all renewables, EU Commission says

Europe needs a massive increase in renewable electricity to meet its 2030 decarbonisation targets, including a ramp up of clean hydrogen production from electrolysers, a senior EU official has said.

Italy’s celebrated building renovation scheme hits a snag

Last year, Italy launched an unprecedented plan allowing homeowners to finance 110% of energy efficiency renovation works through tax deductions. Almost one year on, the widely celebrated scheme is hitting snags related to mounting costs and bureaucracy.
Energy 05-04-2021

What now? Policymakers mull options for greater energy system integration

Consumers will be at the centre of EU efforts to create a more integrated energy system, with local authorities playing an essential role to bring energy users closer to suppliers in a bid to maximise efficiency and cut greenhouse gas...
Energy 30-03-2021

Green Homes Grant scheme to officially close this week, UK Government confirms

The UK Government has confirmed that it will axe its Green Homes Grant Scheme, which had £1.5bn of its £2bn funding pot withdrawn, on Wednesday (31 March).
Energy 22-03-2021

UK government’s green homes grant in urgent need of rescue, MPs say

The UK government’s flagship home insulation scheme, intended to kickstart a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, has been botched, disastrous in administration, devastating in some of its impacts, and stands in urgent need of rescue, an influential committee of MPs has said. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.

EU’s green building push risks driving homelessness, activists warn

The European Commission must ensure that plans to price carbon emissions in the building sector does not lead to growing rates of homelessness, campaigners said on Wednesday (17 March).

Abolition of energy-saving incentives worries French building sector

The €2 billion of financial aid to boost energy renovation in France's COVID recovery plan may not be enough to compensate for the abolition of financial assistance provided to households under the so-called “energy saving incentives” – or what the French ministry has branded "coups de pouce isolation". EURACTIV France reports.

EU taxonomy shutting the door to grid-powered hydrogen, critics say

A coalition of industrialists and electricity companies have expressed concerns about a draft emission threshold below which hydrogen would be considered “green” under the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

Renovation strategies will not deliver net-zero by 2050

Member states continue to underplay the role of the building sector in reaching net zero by 2050, despite the fact that European buildings account for 40% of our energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions, writes Oliver Rapf.
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Energy 10-03-2021

One Year After EPBD: It’s time to accelerate smart building solutions

One year after the deadline for implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), we are far from being on track for more efficient and smarter building stock. Torben Pedersen is Divisional President Residential Heating in Danfoss. Marie Ziegler is...

Eco-homes become hot property in UK’s zero-carbon ‘paradigm shift’

Smart, low-carbon homes were once the preserve of one-off grand designs – now there are up to 30,000 projects in the pipeline, writes EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian Environment.

National renovation plans falling short of EU’s 2050 climate goal: study

The long-term renovations strategies that EU countries submitted last year to the European Commission are not in line with the bloc's objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2050, according to fresh analysis due to be published this week.

The New Bauhaus: culture as a path to a better Europe

The New European Bauhaus initiative aims to use the creativity of Europe to meet the European Green Deal targets. It encourages us to think outside of the box for a better Europe, write Mariya Gabriel and Domènec Ruiz Devesa.
Energy 01-03-2021

New energy labels: the energy transition starts at home

As of 1 March, consumers will find new, revamped labels on dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and televisions. But to reach our climate ambitions, the European Commission must introduce A-G dedicated energy labels for all products responsible for high energy consumption, write Mélissa Zill and Jean-Pierre Schweitzer.

EU countries back green building renovations, but quiet on binding standards

European Union countries will rally behind the bloc's plan to massively expand building renovations to cut emissions, according to a draft document, but it did not explicitly endorse using legally-binding energy performance standards to do it.

Why the Commission is getting it wrong on climate number-crunching

The European Commission's cost-benefit analysis for its upcoming 'Fit for 55' package of green laws for 2030 is outdated, assuming an eye-watering 10% cost of capital for climate action, writes Brook Riley.

Czech coal mining regions confronted with ‘hidden’ energy poverty

While Czech coal mining regions supply heat and electricity to the whole country, local people are often unable to afford heating their own homes, researchers say. More broadly, Czechia is struggling to meet its EU reporting obligations on energy poverty, an issue common to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Energy 09-02-2021

The European Bauhaus, an opportunity to shift paradigms and shape our buildings

While the European Commission is well-positioned to initiate the development and implementation of a new European Bauhaus, it must be truly open to the ideas of a wide array of contributors and committed to supporting a diversity of perspectives, writes...
Energy 09-02-2021

Hiding fossil fuel subsidies under clean energy targets?

To safeguard climate targets’ integrity against greenwashing measures, transparent rules should be in place, write Vlasios Oikonomou and Haris Doukas.
Energy 03-02-2021

30 million Europeans were in energy poverty in 2019

Thirty million Europeans – the equivalent of Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic's populations combined – were unable to adequately heat their homes in 2019, according to a new report from the Jacques Delors Institute.
Electricity 22-01-2021

EU electricity markets: Fit for the renewable future or not?

There is growing recognition in the industry that Europe’s wholesale electricity markets will need to be reformed once again to allow higher shares of renewables in the power system, writes Mike Parr.
Energy 21-01-2021

Avoid hydrogen for heating homes, urges energy efficiency coalition

A coalition of 33 business and civil society groups have urged the European Commission to prioritise renewables and energy efficiency over hydrogen as part of Europe’s efforts to decarbonise buildings.
Energy 21-01-2021

French citizens want better homes. Why are politicians standing in their way?

If it enshrines into its upcoming climate bill mandatory building renovation, France will answer the Citizens’ Convention on Climate’s call for better homes and contribute significantly to the EU’s 55% emission reduction target by 2030, writes Etienne Charbit.
Energy 20-01-2021

‘Matching sustainability with style’: EU lifts veil on new European Bauhaus initiative

The European Commission is inviting “creative minds” across Europe to contribute ideas to the "New European Bauhaus", an initiative aimed at designing new ways of living to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal.