Tackling energy poverty in Europe: Time to renovate Buildings


On January 24, 2024, e-SAFE participated with great enthusiasm in the event titled "Tackling Energy Poverty in Europe: Time to Renovate Buildings!" This event was organized by our partner, BPIE.

In 2023, a staggering 41 million European Union citizens, constituting 9.3% of the population, found themselves unable to afford adequate heating due to the compounding challenges of a cost-of-living crisis and surging energy prices. The impact of energy poverty is particularly pronounced in Central and Eastern European countries, where aging and energy-inefficient housing stock prevails. Complicating matters further, a significant portion of these properties are multi-apartment buildings, making the renovation process intricate and challenging to coordinate.

Addressing this critical issue necessitates enhanced support mechanisms for communities, including the establishment of local one-stop-shops equipped with robust financial and technical tools. Against the backdrop of recent deliberations on key EU legislations and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) reaching consensus by the close of 2023, the present moment is pivotal for contemplating effective implementation strategies. The focus should be on ensuring that these measures provide tangible assistance for climate mitigation and building renovation efforts in Central and Eastern European nations.

This initiative was part of the ComAct project and is designed to cater to EU and Member States policymakers, local authorities, and anyone with a vested interest in combating energy poverty through comprehensive building renovation across Europe.

The event featured four distinct panels, each shedding light on various facets of the ComAct project. These panels delved into three key dimensions: financial, technical, and community aspects, with a specific focus on EU-level policies and recommendations. The overarching objective was to explore how the European Union could play a pivotal role in facilitating the renovation of multifamily buildings.

Leading these insightful discussions were prominent experts respectively from Habitat for Humanity Macedonia  Center for Energy Efficiency,EnEffect , ENOVA , and Metropolitan Research Institute.

The event delved into insightful discussions through three distinct roundtables, each addressing key aspects of empowering local and national citizen action in the context of building renovation challenges. 

  • Empowering Citizen Action: discussion centered on strategies to actively involve citizens in local and national building renovation efforts, emphasizing community engagement and policy alignment with citizen needs.
  • Aligning EU Requirements: participants critically assessed how EU renovation mandates align with on-the-ground realities, seeking improvements to ensure adaptability to diverse economic conditions, housing types, and regional variations.
  • Financing for Energy-Poor Communities: the focus was on developing innovative financial models to support energy renovation in communities facing energy poverty, exploring partnerships and funding sources for accessible and sustainable solutions.

Attending this conference proved to be exceptionally inspiring for our consortium. The presence of the e-SAFE project reinforced our dedication to actively contributing to the establishment of a resilient, carbon-neutral, and secure energy system within the European Union. Recognizing the substantial influence of buildings on energy consumption and environmental impact, the inventive solutions showcased by the e-SAFE project mark a notable stride towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

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