Energy efficiency

EU’s building renovation wave hits administrative snag

Differing views within the European Commission on how the EU's unprecedented recovery fund can be spent, and a rush to translate national spending plans from their original language, risk slowing down the EU's building renovation wave, experts say.

Will the Renovation Wave leave Europe’s poorest on the shore?

Across Europe, 50 million households struggle with energy poverty stemming from low incomes, high energy bills, poor energy efficiency, as well as inadequate housing. The EU’s Renovation Wave, a ‘flagship’ of the European Green Deal, provides a unique opportunity to tackle Europe’s inadequate housing while contributing to EU climate targets, writes Anna Kompatscher.
Energy 02-06-2021

Helsinki bets on electrification to decarbonise heating

Electricity from heat pumps, combined with a shift to renewables in district heat networks, emerged as the winning technologies to drive the Finnish capital’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2035.

The New European Bauhaus must transform beauty into public good

To realise its potential to help Europeans live "beautifully, sustainably, together," the Commission needs to prioritise beauty as a European public good supported by adequate investment, maximum societal participation and a comprehensive policy framework, argues Vadim Kononenko.
Energy 07-05-2021

Using hydrogen fuel risks locking in reliance on fossil fuels, researchers warn

Using hydrogen-based fuels for cars and home heating risks locking in a dependency on fossil fuels and failing to tackle the climate crisis, according to a new analysis. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.
Energy 30-04-2021

Consumers will only renovate their homes if it’s easy and affordable

Consumers are willing and ready to play their part in the green housing transition, but they will need guidance and support along the way, writes Monique Goyens.
Energy 30-04-2021

New EU buildings rules are crucial to deliver on climate targets

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) must recognise that buildings are a crucial energy infrastructure for Europe, writes Monica Frassoni. By being highly efficient, they can reduce energy demand but also manage, store, and generate renewable energy, she argues.
Energy 26-04-2021

Sweetening the deal for heat decarbonisation

How can we expect people to invest in heat pumps if we deliberately make electricity more expensive than fossil gas, oil and coal? That’s like taxing water and subsidising sugary drinks, argues Samuel Thomas.
Energy 23-04-2021

Brussels urges 27 to ‘make the most’ of energy efficiency funds

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, said on Thursday (22 April) that member states should take advantage of the European Union's historic €1.8 trillion budget and recovery fund to invest in energy efficiency.
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy-efficient buildings should be ‘new normal’, says EU’s Simson

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, on Tuesday (20 April) underlined the importance of the 'Renovation Wave' strategy in combating energy poverty in the European Union, saying that sustainable, energy-efficient buildings should be "the new normal".
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.