“Deep renovation should be the gold standard for any investment decision to upgrade a building, and we need a legal definition to create confidence in the renovation market,” says Oliver Rapf, Executive Director at BPIE.
The Renovation Wave sets the objective to at least double the annual energy renovation rate by 2030 as well as to foster deep energy renovations. While the concept is high on the political agenda, clarity is missing from the current EU legal framework, where no definition of deep renovation can be found.
The absence of a common understanding of what it is and, more importantly, of what it should deliver has led to a mushrooming of concepts at national level, and to an EU policy ecosystem which is not fit to deliver. The current annual deep renovation rate stands at only 0.2% on average in the EU. If the EU is to achieve both its 2030 climate target and climate neutrality by 2050, this figure must drastically (by a factor of 15) increase to reach 3% by 2030 and be maintained up to 2050. Deep renovation also holds the potential to deliver on multiple other benefits for individuals and society. This makes a paradigm shift on deep renovation even more important.
This paper investigates what deep renovation is, and dives into ways to define it, based on an overview of national examples and existing concepts, where key parameters are outlined. Deep renovation is a multidimensional concept but guided by one overarching principle: the need to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It sets a path for every building to be climate proof.
This paper shows that deep renovation needs a legally binding, clear and ambitious definition at EU level. But beyond giving a definition to the concept, what is crucial is to shift the deep renovation paradigm and practice by making it the default approach in all policymaking and on the ground. The EU needs to recalibrate its renovation ecosystem of policy, advisory and financing measures by going full speed on deep renovation. The moment is now, as the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive provides the perfect opportunity to operationalise this paradigm shift. This paper therefore also includes a list of concrete policy recommendations to realise this opportunity.