This policy session will shed light on the potential that buildings offer for a successful transformation of the energy system by 2030 by empowering citizens at all levels and enabling the scale-up of holistic energy renovations. The speakers will present inspiring initiatives and best practices that are already in place at neighbourhood (Syn.ikia’s Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods), city (the MAtchUP project in València) and community level (REScoop’s citizen-led renovation). The presentations will highlight ways to empower residents to play a role in the energy transition while responding to their needs, especially lower-income households. These solutions place buildings in a broader and more interlinked context by reducing their energy use, acting as storage and ensuring a balanced grid, integrating renewables, using smart energy management systems as well as offering people a comfortable environment where to live.
Following the announcement of the European Green Deal in 2019, there has been a flurry of activity on climate and energy policy. As buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of the EU's energy consumption, improving their energy efficiency is crucial to achieving the EU’s decarbonisation target. The Energy System Integration Strategy recognises that applying the EE1 principle and giving priority to demand-side solutions should be at the foundation of shaping the energy system.
A well-renovated building can really contribute to this goal by minimising energy consumption, hence making the switch to renewable energy easier and cheaper, while ensuring that our buildings remain an essential element of the energy system and tackling energy poverty. Together with the Renovation Wave Strategy, they set us on course to significantly improve the renovation quality and rate of EU buildings.
The speakers will provide invaluable practical insights on how neighbourhoods, cities and communities can participate in the energy transition. Syn.ikia, an H2020-funded innovation project, will demonstrate an integrated approach taking into account both the building and neighbourhood levels and how to embed social sustainability through affordable housing typologies in a demo case of social housing renovation in The Netherlands. MAtchUP, an H2020-funded Smart City project, will present the actions that several lighthouse cities are implementing to achieve high energy performance thereby improving the citizens’ quality of life and boosting the local economies. REScoop will show how citizen energy cooperatives support the development of sustainable building renovation activities in Europe and empower communities to take collective action and make their homes and communities more energy efficient.
Senior Expert on Energy Efficiency, Joint Research Centre
Thijs van den Oord
Project Manager & Technical Advisor for the Dutch demo-project
Syn.ikia, Horizon2020 project
Las Naves (Ajuntament de València)
Project Manager for Citizen-led renovation
Find out more about the EU week on the official page of EUSEW.