How can Europe boost energy efficiency in all homes? Europe’s buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of its CO2 emissions. Investing in energy-saving technologies such as smart meters, better performing materials (including next generation insulation) and digital tools can help consumers better control their energy consumption. However, even if these technologies may ultimately end up saving money over the long-run, they may nevertheless require upfront investment that puts them out of reach for families on lower incomes. Should governments step in with grants and subsidies?
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Pamela suggesting that energy-saving technologies should be given to poorer families for free.
To get a reaction, we put her comment to Dr Catherine Butler, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Exeter. How would she respond to Pamela?
For another perspective, we put the same comment to Bent Madsen, President of Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing. What would he say?
We also put Pamela’s comment to Monica Frassoni, former Green MEP and currently President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (UE-ASE). What would she say to Pamela?
Next up, we had a comment from Wasim, who thinks the idea of giving energy-saving technologies away for free is crazy because no government can afford such a huge investment. Is he right?
What would Dr Catherine Butler from the University of Exeter say?
How would Bent Madsen from Housing Europe respond?
Finally, how would Monica Frassoni from the European Alliance to Save Energy react to the idea that governments cannot afford the kind of housebuilding and renovation programme she advocates?
Should poor families be given energy-saving technologies for free? Can governments afford it? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!