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European Union energy commissioner visits 63-house renovation project where Knauf Energy Solutions delivered average energy savings of 60%

By Knauf Insulation
November 10, 2023

The European Union Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, was today welcomed on a fact-finding tour of 63 social homes in Belgium where high quality deep renovation by Knauf Energy Solutions has delivered a 60% average reduction in energy costs.

The visit was hosted by Knauf Insulation and organised by the Renovate Europe Campaign. Commissioner Simson was also joined by members of her cabinet and the President of the housing association Wonen in Limburg, Raf Drieskens.

Touring the homes in the Gansbeek residential area of Bilzen, discussions focused on how renovation can play a key role in strengthening Europe’s energy security, achieve 2050 climate ambitions and improve indoor comfort.

Commissioner Simson said: “Buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Today around 85% of buildings were built before 2001 and most will still be around in 2050. They are unfit for climate changes, such as increasing temperatures and extreme weather events.”

“This renovation initiative is a powerful demonstration of the positive impact that high quality renovation can have on communities, Europe’s energy consumption and the environment.


Future defined by renovation

Barry Lynham, Managing Director of Knauf Energy Solutions, which renovated the Bilzen homes for the Wonen in Limburg housing company said: “By using real performance monitoring technologies, we were able to demonstrate that the customer achieved the energy performance that was promised on paper, thereby contributing to the bigger picture of saving Europe’s energy.”

“For those living in the newly renovated homes, the retrofit process was carried out with minimal disruption with many of the residents reporting significant improvements in comfort following the upgrades”.

Barry Lynham, Managing Director of Knauf Energy Solutions

Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director of Renovate Europe, said: “The Bilzen mass retrofit is a tangible example of the critical role of renovation in Europe and vividly illustrates how energy efficiency policies — such as the ongoing review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive — could be translated into action to incentivise similar initiatives across Europe. This could be an exciting view of the shape of things to come. But to achieve this, policy makers must be ambitious.”

Smart retrofit

The Bilzen project was a comprehensive renovation initiative involving the installation of quality materials such as advanced insulation, junction upgrades, ventilation systems, energy efficient doors and windows as well as solar panels and innovative hybrid heat pumps.

Quentin Galland-Jarrett, Knauf Insulation’s Group Public and Regulatory Affairs Director

Quentin Galland, Group Public and Regulatory Affairs Director at Knauf Insulation, said: “To maximise the opportunities offered to us by these sustainable energy sources our priority was to ensure that the envelope of the buildings was as energy efficient as possible.”

“We also introduced innovative Knauf Energy Solutions cloud technology that audits – in real time – the actual energy saving performance of a building before and after renovation rather than relying on outdated theoretical methods of calculating savings.”

The result of the 63-house mass retrofit was an average energy saving of 60% — a percentage improvement that is only achieved in 0.2% of annual renovations, according to the European Commission.

For more information about Knauf Energy Solutions’ renovation achievements visit