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Renovation Summit 2022

Fast tracking innovation to mitigate the energy crisis

Brussels, 18 May 2023 | Published in Future of the EU & Housing

A reality check during Housing Europe’s second Renovation Summit at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels in November 2022 showed that the transformation of homes goes beyond the drop of the kilowatt hours used and the emitted CO2. Social fairness, job opportunities, energy poverty alleviation offices, nature preservation, and aesthetic homes must also be kept in balance. Neglecting any of these will result in a failed Renovation Wave.

We sent these key messages to EU policymakers while they were debating the future of buildings and ahead of the vote on the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in January 2023.

The Renovation Summit focused on showing that if we get the local conditions right, the funding, the outreach to residents, the optimisation of the efficiency and production balance, all adapted to the local reality, we can generate an energy transition that ticks all the boxes.

We divided the most pressing issues our the fair energy transition into 5 parts. On day one, discussed how to make sure the project delivery goes as planned and how we can procure the renovation in the most efficient way. Later on, the debate focused on residents’ acceptance and satisfaction are greatly influenced by other issues than energy efficiency measures, such as comfort (indoor air quality, temperature, lighting, and noise levels); affordability of energy and housing; access to services and amenities; availability of green space; and good architectural design. In other words, making renovated housing districts ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive’ as the New European Bauhaus Initiative claims.

Day two was designed as a Policy Lab, a space to bring innovative policy solutions to challenges related to the renovation and decarbonisation of cities and the affordable housing sector. During the fourth session, we brought to the fore technical and technological innovations that can be scaled up and fast-track the affordable and sustainable district renovation (while concurrently able to contribute to cushioning the impact of the rise in energy prices). Opengela, like other One-Stop-Shop programmes, has proved that renovation can be for anyone and everyone, thus contributing to the regeneration of the Basque Otxarkoaga, Bilbao, and Txonta, in Eibar, inspiring more cities and regions to follow.

Read our detailed report on this two-day event.