Energy Renovation: Trapped in overestimated costs and staged approach

The 2018 EPBD recast aims at transforming Europe’s buildings into highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050 by facilitating the cost-effective transformation of existing buildings into nearly-zero energy buildings. The EPBD recast, if effectively implemented, will create an nZEB renovation market of at least 250 million dwellings and 7 billion m² of non-residential buildings, over the period 2018-2050.  

Achieving such a target requires moving away from the staged renovation approach which results in multiple disruptions to consumers and technical deadlocks that increase the risks of lock-in and which lowers the savings achieved. This step-by-step or staged approach to energy renovation is usually justified by claims that the costs of undertaking all works in one step are prohibitive.

However, data on energy renovation costs provided by the French Observatory for Low Energy Buildings, known as the BBC Observatory, show that deep energy renovation is being achieved in France at an average renovation cost of €316/m² for multi-family buildings and €374/m² for detached single family homes.

Further cost reductions are available beyond the cost reductions achieved in the French BBC renovated projects by making a use of digital technologies and industrialising the renovation process as shown in OpenExp Policy Brief.