Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 38% of CO2 emissions in the EU
A 50% reduction in energy use in the European building stock would reduce CO2 emissions by 18% by 2030
Highly efficient buildings can cut capital costs in the power sector between 89-153 billion € by 2050
New buildings account for less than 1% of Europe's building stock every year. Renovation is critical to improving energy efficiency across the board.
Source: Eurima, Why Insulate? Why Renovate? With Mineral Wool Insulation
What can we do to improve energy efficiency in our buildings?
We need to raise the energy efficiency standards of our homes, schools, offices, and public buildings. This means increasing the rate and depth of renovations, and delivering new builds that perform as designed. Buildings that are measurably more comfortable, more cost-effective to run and with a smaller environmental impact.
Regulations throughout Europe are already evolving to support this:
Updates to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) of England’s Building Regulations now require all new homes to produce 31% less CO2 and meet tighter energy performance standards. In 2025 the UK will move to the Future Homes Standard, requiring a more ambitious 75% reduction in CO2.
Czechia’s New Green Savings Programme gives households access to grants for insulating their homes, which cover up to 50% of the costs. The amount received depends on the level of energy savings attained. Combining multiple energy efficiency measures can make projects eligible for an additional bonus, encouraging deeper renovation.
To help achieve a climate neutral building stock by 2045, Germany’s government is providing €14.5 billion p/year to fund energy efficient renovations and climate-friendly new builds, with a predominant focus on existing buildings. To promote insulation’s important role in decarbonising the building stock, heat pumps are subsidized only if the building is ‘heat pump ready’ i.e., sufficiently insulated to ensure efficient heating. In addition, tax incentives for the renovation of owner-occupied residential properties have also been in place since 2020.
In 2021, Nearly Energy Neutral Building (BENG) requirements replaced Energy Performance Certificates in the Netherlands, as the standard for energy efficiency in new buildings. The requirements ensure that new buildings are designed to have low energy demand, efficient use of primary energy, and a substantial contribution from renewable sources.
Poland’s upgraded Clean Air Programme offers households higher grants for energy-efficiency improvements, provided they follow energy audit recommendations. Low-income households can receive 50% support in the form of prefinancing, channelled directly via installers, who can now play an active role in the programme.
“The most cost-and resource-optimal way to decarbonise the energy system relies on front-loading energy efficiency improvements focused on the building envelope, which in turn pave the way for electrification, integration of renewables and reduction of energy system costs.”
- European Insulation Manufacturers Association
Insulation will be integral to improving energy efficiency, in both new and existing buildings.
Better energy efficiency begins with the right specification.
Find out how to get it right and how Knauf Insulation is driving change: