Eco-renovations will boost states' coffers – study

EU governments could raise up to €128bn by 2017 through additional income and corporate taxes and lower social costs from renovation programmes aimed at improving buildings’ energy efficiency, a new study [pdf file 2.04MB] has found.

In addition, up to €75bn could be saved on energy bills in the public sector by 2020, according to the Copenhagen Economics study commissioned by the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE).

In terms of employment, eco-renovations could generate between 760,000 to 1.5 million new jobs by the end of the decade.

To facilitate investments, the authors and participants of the Renovate Europe conference at which the study was presented, discussed a number of measures that could be used by member states as they prepare their 2014 renovation roadmaps made mandatory by the new Energy Efficiency Directive.

These measures include reforming property leasing regulations to allow landlords and tenants to share renovation costs and energy savings and linking property taxes to the energy labelling of buildings. Public renovation budgets should also be extended beyond the customary one year period, participants heard.

And risk-sharing programmes such as Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) should be promoted. With EPC, an energy service company guarantees that certain energy savings will be achieved by the installed equipment.

Marie Donnelly of the European Commission’s energy department launched a new EPC campaign as it is not enough to have developed the appropriate tools, she told the participants. “Finance ministers must be convinced to use them,” she stressed.

In a related development, local authorities’ association Energy Cities [pdf file98kB] issued a declaration in which it reaffirmed mayors’ commitment to low-carbon objectives.

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