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Policy strategies for achieving large long-term savings from retrofitting existing buildings

: Sebi, Carine; Nadel, Steven; Schlomann, Barbara; Steinbach, Jan

European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy -ECEEE-, Paris:
eceee 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency. Consumption, efficiency and limits : 29 May - 3 June 2017, Belambra Les Criques, Toulon/Hyères, France
Paris: ECEEE, 2017
ISBN: 978-91-983878-0-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-91-983878-1-0 (Online)
European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ECEEE Summer Study) <2017, Toulon>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISI ()
building refurbishment; building retrofitting; Building Regulation; policies and measures; building sector

In order to achieve long-term targets for energy savings and emissions reductions, substantial savings will be needed from existing buildings. For example, a recent analysis for the U.S. examines aggressive strategies to cut carbon emissions in half by 2040 and finds that is order to achieve this emissions reduction target, more than half of existing buildings will need comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. Germany is targeting an overall primary energy consumption reduction of 50% in 2050 including increasing building renovation rate to 2% per year. In France, ambitious targets have also been set for existing buildings: 50% reduction of primary energy consumption in 2050 compared to 2012 level. Multiple countries have realized the importance of comprehensive building retrofits and have begun to adopt policies to spur these improvements. For example, Germany is emphasizing grants and loans through the KfW development bank, complemented with building and heating system labels, a new “heating check” programme and possible technical renovation requirements. France has established a goal of bringing all buildings up to “A” performance level (on their A-G scale) by 2050 in order for them to be sold or leased, with lower performance levels required as soon as 2020. In the U.S., the focus has been on a combination of rating and disclosure of energy use, financing, and technical assistance. Focused community approaches show promise. This paper summarizes the efforts, successes and challenges, future directions and savings of building retrofit policies in the three countries. We conclude by contrasting the three countries and discussing areas of opportunity for these and other countries.