16 February, Brussels – The European Commission’s new Heating & Cooling Strategy has noted that renewable energies can play a significant role in the sector, and makes numerous suggestions for actions to be included in the upcoming reviews of the Energy Performance of Buildings, Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Energy Directives.
The Strategy looks into the challenges and barriers for sustainable heating and cooling, and suggests actions for, “stopping the energy leakage from buildings, maximising the efficiency and sustainability of heating and cooling systems, supporting efficiency in industry and reaping the benefits of integrating heating and cooling into the electricity system”.
In the reviews of the Directives, efforts will be made to integrate thermal storage in buildings, support district heating use, and incentivise citizen production of electricity and uptake of renewables into heating, including combined heat and power (CHP).
Actions proposed by the Commission, include the creation of a toolbox of measures for enabling renovation of multi-apartment buildings, strengthening feedback to consumers through advanced metering and billing, and developing advanced materials and construction processes with leading institutions in materials and industry.
For financing, the Commission hopes that under the ‘Smart Finance for Smart Buildings’ initiative, Member States will be encouraged to establish one-stop shops for low-carbon investments, including advisory services and finance, and that retail banks will offer products adapted for renovation of privately rented buildings.