New analysis shows energy efficient buildings are central to successful climate action

Analysis by Cambridge Econometrics published today shows that energy efficient buildings are a pre-condition for successful climate action, backed by strong public support revealed through polling carried out across five countries by OnePoll.

However, demand for renovation must be accompanied by ambitious legislation and efforts to simplify finance, increase workforce capacity, and project management support if energy efficient buildings are to be a long-term success.

The ROCKWOOL Group commissioned report shows three key benefits of ambitious building renovation programmes:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – buildings account for 36% of energy related emissions in the EU, 40% in the US and 42% in the UK.
  2. Cheaper-to-run and healthier homes.
  3. Opportunity for people to personally experience the benefits of climate action, leading to sustained momentum over the next decades.

The polling by OnePoll in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom and United States demonstrates strong public support for energy efficient buildings, with 79% of respondents stating that they would renovate their homes if they had the support and 73% would support mandatory energy performance standards, given the right enabling conditions.

Cost was highlighted as a key barrier with 56% of respondents stating they have little or no knowledge about applying for fundings, seeking advice, or finding suitable workers. It was therefore recommended in the report that ambitious legislation is an important next step, alongside dedicated efforts to overcome the key barriers highlighted by the poll.

ROCKWOOL Group CEO Jens Birgersson comments,

It may be a cliché, but it is also true – the cheapest, cleanest and safest energy is that which we do not use. Global leaders have to remember that ideas are cheap, but energy is expensive. If we prioritise renovation we send a clear message that we are investing in people’s futures.

Head of Environment at Cambridge Econometrics Jon Stenning comments,

Renovating the built environment is a key challenge on the road to decarbonising our economies. The consumer poll carried out for this report shows that there is substantial consumer appetite for retrofitting, but that much more must be done to match up financing with renovation projects.

Well-designed policy can play a major role in bringing the whole value chain together, ensuring that resources are well-targeted and help to build up capacity and interest at a local level to ensure that the benefits of energy retrofits can be realised.

Read the full report here.

Jon Stenning Associate Director js@camecon.com