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EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling: Decarbonizing our buildings

Just yesterday, the European Commission released a Communication on the EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling aiming at a "smarter and more sustainable use of heating and cooling".

Heating and cooling consume half of the EU’s energy and much of it is wasted. Developing a strategy to make heating and cooling more efficient and sustainable is a priority for the Energy Union. It should allow for reducing energy imports and dependency, cutting costs for households and businesses, and delivering the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goal and meet its commitment under the climate agreement reached at the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

Although the heating and cooling sector is moving to clean low-carbon energy, 75% of the fuel it uses still comes from fossil fuels (nearly half from gas). While this strategy will contribute to reducing import dependency, the European Commission affirms that security of supply remains a priority, especially in Member States that rely on a single supplier.

In this Communication, the European Commission put a strong focus on decabornizing buildings, entailing "renovating the existing building stock, along with intensified efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy, supported by decarbonized electricity and district heating".

The Communication also explores the tools and solutions to meet the current challenges. The European Commission notably invites Member States to:

  • review their property laws to address how to share gains from energy improvements in private rented properties between landlords and tenants
  • ensure that a share of energy efficiency funding is dedicated to improvements for energy poor households
  • work with stakeholders to raise consumer awareness
  • support local and regional actors who can improve the bankability of investments through ‘bundling’ individual projects into bigger investment packages.
Read the full Communication in our Useful links section
See the infographics by Euractiv.com.

photos: European Commission & Fotolia

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