Europe is in an energy crisis. The most recent data estimates that the number of people suffering from energy poverty in the EU is somewhere between 50 and 125 million people.At the same time, Europe is in a building crisis. Its inefficient housing stock is a root cause of energy poverty and has a major impact on our health and wealth.
No one should have to suffer from chronic respiratory disease, choose between heating or eating, or face unaffordable energy bills because of the poor conditions of their homes. Everyone deserves a decent and comfortable place to call home.
But this is not the case. More than two thirds for Europe’s buildings are deemed inefficient and 15% of Europeans live in houses with a leaking roof or damp walls, foundations or floors. None of which are good for their annual spend or well-being.
It’s about time that decision-makers deliver on their promise to fix Europe’s buildings and tackle energy poverty by delivering a green, socially just building legislation that provides safe, efficient and healthy homes for all!
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (the EPBD) is a unique opportunity to lift millions of people out of energy poverty and deliver decent, energy efficient homes that will lead to lower utility bills and reduced reliance on fossil fuels for low-income households.
An effective EPBD would mean long-term solutions for the energy poor, substantial EU funds for renovations, obligations for landlords and protections for renters. Therefore, the final legislation must:
- prioritise the worst performing homes of low-income households, and guarantee social safeguards to ensure these specific households benefit from having their homes renovated
- allocate sufficient funds for renovations, including ring fenced funds for the energy poor, fully subsidised renovation programmes and financing schemes tailored to different vulnerable groups that don’t require any upfront cost
- ensure measures are put in place to phase out fossil fuels to prevent low-income households from getting locked into inefficient homes that rely on dirty, outdated heating and cooling systems.
The EPBD will be finalised this year, in the midst of an energy price crisis that forces more and more people to choose between heating and eating, so it’s absolutely crucial to urge our leaders to mobilise the power of energy efficiency in our homes! Will you join us in helping to educate, inspire and engage others to take action?