“Energy efficient homes have proven and consistent benefits, reducing the risk of chronic cold related illness, improving wellbeing and, strengthening energy security. The rate of return for the economy when calculating the cost-effectiveness of different options for delivering near zero energy buildings is also impressive.”
This response from MIMA to the public consultation on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive supports the EU wide response from the EURIMA industry body. Both responses call for the European Commission to be tough and ensure that the requirements for new and existing homes and their components is not weakened.
Europe must set long-term goals for the minimum performance of housing to deliver real benefits for households. Recent research by Verco and Cambridge Econometrics, which looked at the UK in particular, recognised that making improvements to all low income homes by 2025 – retrofitted with energy efficiency measures to achieve a mid-band C on the UK Energy Performance Certificate – would provide substantial economic benefits on a national level. These include:
- £3.20 returned through increased GDP per £1 invested by government.
- £1.27 in tax revenues per £1 of government investment, through increased economic activity, such that the scheme has paid for itself by 2024, and generates net revenue for government thereafter.
- Improved health and reduced healthcare expenditure, due to warmer and more comfortable homes. For every £1 spent on reducing fuel poverty, a return of 42 pence is expected in National Health Service (NHS) savings.
- Increased energy security as investment in energy efficiency in the domestic sector will result in a 26% reduction in imports of natural gas in 2030, worth £2.7bn in that year.
- 23.6MtCO2 reductions per annum by 2030, after accounting for direct, indirect, and economy-wide rebound effects. This is roughly equivalent to cutting the CO2 emissions of the UK transport fleet by one third
Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director at MIMA further commented: “The energy performance of buildings should remain a policy area driven by European legislation to avoid national conflicts where political cycles create a “stop-start” approach to programmes.”
“However for success, policy must be set in the wider context of an ambitious long-term programme with the energy efficiency of our housing becoming an infrastructure priority. We need a vision for the existing building stock to be highly efficient, and where feasible, NZEB by 2050. This will bring far-reaching benefits - from increased productivity and job creation to carbon reduction, energy security and improved health and wellbeing”