• Posted 06-Apr-2021

Commission analysis highlights good practices in long-term renovation strategies

The European Commission has published a preliminary analysis of 13 member state long-term renovation strategies (LTRS), aimed at disseminating good practices from the policies and measures put forward by national governments.

The Staff Working Document covers those LTRS’s that were submitted to the Commission by mid-November last year. An updated analysis covering the remaining LTRS submissions will follow once all strategies are submitted. This analysis will also feed into the implementation of the Renovation Wave strategy, the Commission’s ongoing analysis of the national recovery and resilience plans and broader work on promoting energy efficiency.

Under the 2018 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, all EU countries were required to submit to the Commission a long-term renovation strategy outlining clear plans to support the renovation of their national building stock into a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050. Some of these elements overlapped with the integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs), outlining how Member States intend to achieve the 2030 climate targets. The 148-page analysis contains an overall assessment of the different strategies, lists the planned measures, and analyses each LTRS separately following a common template. It notes, for example, that the Dutch, Danish and French schemes foresee some form of mandatory minimum energy performance standards, while Denmark, Austria, Cyprus and Estonia are intending to strengthen the Energy Performance Certificate system.

Recalling the estimate made in the Renovation Wave strategy that roughly EUR 275 billion of additional investment is required in order to meet the 55% climate target by 2030, the assessment takes a close look at what is foreseen in terms of ensuring adequate and well-targeted funding.

In terms of stimulating joint procurement, it highlights the Dutch “renovation accelerator” and the Finnish concept of a “pool for energy savings in industries” as examples that help aggregate projects into bigger investments that are easier to finance and enable the large-scale renovation of rental homes. Similarly, the Czech PANEL programme, the Cyprus Mutual Funds Fund and the Danish KommuneKredit are seen as good practices for using public funding to leverage additional private-sector investment.

With the benefits of energy advisory services (and one-stop shops) having previously been underlined, this analysis cites the experiences of the Netherlands, Denmark, Czechia, Austria and France. 

In terms of using tax incentives to foster building renovation – as recommended in the Renovation Wave strategy – the document notes the tax deduction system in Germany and Denmark, and lower rates of VAT rates for energy savings measures in France and Cyprus and for insulation and labour costs of insulation in the Netherlands.

Many member states, such as Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxemburg and the Netherlands focus on phasing out the use of coal and oil for heating.

Each LTRS’s address this issue of skills and education. For example France has put in place a comprehensive set of (re-)training programmes in the construction sector, where sizable online courses for renovation experts lead to certified qualifications. Alternatively, Denmark foresees setting up a knowledge center for energy savings in buildings for the vocational education and training system.

With regard to energy poverty, the document notes Spain’s national energy poverty strategy, with its Bono social and the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme, providing free energy efficiency upgrades to homes where the householder receives a social welfare payment. In France, the National Observatory of Energy Poverty (ONPE) monitors energy poverty using an annual scorecard.

Source: European Commission I News (https://bit.ly/3uk9854)