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Reality and ambition should meet on a fair energy transition

Member States expected to bring Energy & Climate Objectives 2030 closer to people’s housing needs

Brussels, 6 October 2014 | Published in Energy

Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing presents the outline of its proposed strategy.

At the forthcoming European Council in Brussels (23/24 October) Heads of States and Government will agree on the EU long term Energy and Climate objectives. They will in particular have to decide upon the kind of targets and strategy regarding energy efficiency. Their decision will have an impact on the revision of the Directives on the Energy Performance of Buildings and Energy Efficiency and therefore on the regulatory framework for the energy efficiency investments in the housing sector (both new build and renovation of existing stock).

The President of Housing Europe, Marc Calon stresses that:

“The year 2020 is around the corner and the EU must deliver on its promises in order to take a safer path towards the 2030 objectives. We cannot afford to lower ambitions. I strongly believe that our sector can translate national and EU policies into progress in addressing  challenges which exist at  the local level.”

Providers of social housing, cooperative housing or public housing have already managed large scale renovation programmes across Europe thanks to their long-term relationships with the housing stock, and residents and commitment to maintaining low costs. This makes the housing managed by these providers on average more energy efficient than the private sector.

However, energy poverty is a growing phenomenon everywhere in the EU since 2008 with almost 52 million Europeans being unable to keep their homes adequately warm. An alarming mix of poorly insulated homes, the rise in energy prices paid by final consumers, and the stagnation of disposable income due to the general economic situation is to blame for this phenomenon. We therefore call EU members state to agree on a fair energy transition for the people and the planet.

This strategy should encompass the following elements: 

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  • Favourable financial conditions in particular in cooperation with the EIB. The EEFIG report is in that sense very good and should have a follow up;
  • Improved implementation and stabilisation of the current legislative framework, in particular the NZEB roadmaps of the EPBD and the renovation roadmaps of the EED;
  • Urgent improvement of the building renovation supply chain and promotion of business models which are effective and affordable;
  • Welfare policies ensuring that low-income groups are not unduly burdened by climate change costs

Following this strategy, tenants are not only be the beneficiaries but also the drivers of the energy transition.