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How to achieve a socially just EU Renovation Wave?


How to achieve a socially just EU Renovation Wave?


Renovating both public and private buildings has been singled out in the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the sector. To pursue this dual ambition of energy gains and economic growth, in 2020 the Commission published the strategy "A Renovation Wave for Europe – Greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives".

This strategy comes at a moment when the EU is facing several challenges. First of all, there is the climate emergency. Buildings, currently making up 36% of EU’s energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are an important sector to be decarbonised to ensure the EU reaches its legally binding target to cut emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Then, there is a social crisis. Energy poverty is on the rise in Europe. Data from the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub indicates that the number of energy-poor citizens in the EU is between 50 and 125 million. These citizens find themselves struggling to pay their bills due to soaring gas prices, with lowest-income households hit the hardest. These social disparities are also reflected in health inequalities, with housing conditions being an important environmental determinant of health.

Furthermore, Europe has plunged into an energy security crisis. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European leaders have committed to cut their reliance on Russian fossil fuels, which Europe largely depends on, including for heating homes. However, replacing the Russian supply with fossil fuels — instead of renewables and energy efficiency measures — could derail climate action and promote volatile gas prices.

A recently published study by the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy claims that, if well-designed, the EU Renovation Wave has the potential to cut low-income households’ energy costs by a third and increase their disposable income with home renovation and a switch to clean heating. It suggests that policies to boost home renovation and the uptake of renewable heating could deliver a fairer society and alleviate energy poverty, ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to clean, affordable energy and live in energy-efficient homes.

Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss how a socially just EU Renovation Wave can be achieved. How can a massive renovation of buildings be triggered in the coming decade while ensuring that energy poverty is eradicated?


Supported by:


Brussels Network Office - International Press Centre
1 Bd Charlemagne // 2nd floor


Adela Tesarova, Head of Unit for Consumers, Local Initiatives, Just Transition, DG ENER, European Commission
Ciarán Cuffe MEP, Member ITRE Committee, Rapporteur for the "Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)", European Parliament
Petros Kokkalis MEP, Member ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Guillaume Joly, Sustainable Housing Officer, Energy Team, BEUC
Stefan Bouzarovski, Professor, University of Manchester
Vlasis Oikonomou, Managing Director and Senior Researcher, Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP)


Brian Maguire, Journalist, EURACTIV


17:00 - 17:05 Welcome
17:05 - 17:10 Study presentation
17:10 - 17:25 Panellist statements
17:25 - 18:25 Discussion and Q&A
18:25 - 18:30 Closing statements

Followed by a light networking reception.


Tamara Novel

Related article

‘Renovictions’ loom as EU aims to boost building renovation

‘Renovictions’ loom as EU aims to boost building renovation

Confronted with an energy crisis and the need to rapidly decarbonise the building sector, the EU is now facing another threat: “renovictions," where tenants are forced out of houses or apartments due to rent increases imposed after renovation.