Unlock money for green homes
While the effects of climate change spread, families across Europe are facing huge rises in the cost of living, especially with regard to energy prices. Extreme climate events happen more often, bills keep rising and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels for cooling or heating our homes.
There is a solution at hand: Europe must help citizens to make their homes smart, efficient and green. With the Unlock campaign, run with a coalition of 19 civil society organisations, we aim to unlock private and public money for a successful wave of renovation to occur.
We launched our Unlock campaign in 2022, urging the European Union and national governments to provide the necessary funds to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and make them more environmentally friendly. Our campaign brings together a coalition of diverse organisations, all committed to ensuring a quick and fair green transition of homes across Europe. Among them are: Renovate Europe, WWF (EU and Spain), DECO, Agir pour le climat, Association négaWatt, Dorémi, Institut Veblen, Reclaim Finance, Rénovons, The Shift Project, Green Building Council España, REVO and Asufin.
The EU institutions are currently developing a specific law — the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) — with the aim of increasing the rate of renovations throughout Europe. In March 2023, the EU Parliament adopted a position on this directive, which includes unprecedented measures to involve banks in financing these renovations. This has been a significant victory for our campaign, but the road ahead is still long. As we move forward in this battle, we will be closely monitoring each step taken to make our homes greener!
Ask the EU institutions to provide financial support to renovate our homes
What do we need to make our home greener?
Lack of financing is one of the key barriers to home renovation. Most of us can’t afford to pay for better insulation, solar panels or new heating and cooling systems up front. Put simply, households will not make an investment that will benefit them in 20 years if this makes their life more difficult in the short term. So what needs to happen to change this situation?
1. Make banks play their part
Public money alone won’t be enough to make all homes across Europe energy efficient, and for this reason we need banks on board to offer customers affordable loans designed to finance the green renovation of their homes. There is an annual financial gap of €275 billion to meet the EU’s building renovation targets — banks must do their part to finance this! For instance, we have been advocating for the inclusion of the Mortgage Portfolio Standards, a tool that would require banks to increase the energy performance of buildings covered by their mortgages, in the EPBD.
2. Make renovation affordable for everyone
Currently, the financial products offered by banks are broadly inadequate in supporting people to renovate their homes. The European Central Bank must change this by offering low interest rates to commercial banks when they provide cheap and accessible loans for home renovation to their customers. For people who cannot access these loans, 100% of their renovation costs should be covered by public money. The EU should establish an ‘EU loan guarantee fund‘ for energy efficiency loans and mortgages, which would cover the financial risks of the most vulnerable households.
3. Make renovation simple
If you are considering renovating your home, you certainly know how complex and bureaucratic the process can be. Most people simply don’t know about the financing opportunities. To make this process easier, governments should create ‘one stop shops’ to provide free-of-charge technical assistance to people!
Why do we need to Unlock the funds for energy efficient homes?
FOR THE PLANET!
In the EU, 36% of greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. Three-quarters of European homes are inefficient, with excessive energy used for cooling and heating. We need to invest in energy efficiency and switching to renewable domestic energy!
FOR THE PEOPLE!
According to recent research, renovating 35 million homes across Europe to reduce their heating demands by 60% would result in a €180 billion reduction in gas imports. Over time, this could reduce energy bills for those households by up to €1,100 a year.
FOR THE ECONOMY!
A reduction in energy consumption would increase the resilience of our economy against the instability of global markets and the influence of petrostates such as Russia. Investing in renovations would have a positive impact on the construction industry, leading to the creation of up to 1.2 million jobs throughout Europe!
Join the campaign
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