Renovation strategies of selected EU countries
The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) introduced in 2012 an important new dimension to the energy saving in buildings legislative landscape. Article 4 requires Member States, for the first time, to set out national strategies for the renovation of their building stocks, thereby filling a major gap in policy concerning the existing building stock. The report focuses on 10 Member States (Austria, Belgium (Brussels Capital Region), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and UK) that submitted within 3 months of the April 2014 deadline and selected by BPIE for their building stock and climate diversity. The 10 strategies, while giving a spectrum of approaches and activities, do not set a clear, strategic path and most lack bold and determined action plans. The report scores countries for each of the 5 requirements from Article 4, EED: overview of the national building stock, cost-effective approaches to renovations, policies and measures to stimulate cost-effective deep renovations, forward-looking perspective to guide investment decisions and evidence-based estimate of expected savings and wider benefits. Based on this scoring, BPIE finds that 3 strategies are non-compliant (Austria, Denmark and The Netherlands), 3 are only partially compliant (France, Germany and Brussels Capital Region) and 4 are acceptable but still show potential to improve (Czech Republic, Romania, Spain and the UK). Some strategies include elements which can be considered best practice such as financial support or a wider-stakeholder process, but are weak on other aspects, varying from country to country. The report concludes that benefits need to be quantified better, not only in terms of energy, carbon and cost savings, but also in terms of economic impact, societal benefits and environmental improvements. Policy packages and support measures need to be developed in more detail to provide effective incentives to invest in deep renovation. It is also suggested that the European Commission should provide more effective guidance and that most strategies should be re-submitted with corrective actions taken.