Could investment in insulation and energy efficiency help Europe through the energy crisis? Improving insulation across the continent is already a key part of the European Green Deal but should it be massively accelerated?
This is not just about new houses. Yes, improving insulation is about ensuring strict standards are adhered to when new buildings are constructed. However, it also involves retrofitting existing buildings in a so-called European “renovation wave”.
Over 35% of the existing building stock in Europe is over 50-years-old, and many of the buildings constructed before 1945 are largely uninsulated. The European Commission estimates these historic buildings could reduce their energy consumption by 15-20% with proper insulation. Not bad, considering that Europe’s buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of its CO2 emissions.
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Shaun, who would like to see new, tougher EU regulations requiring all new buildings in the EU be constructed with high levels of insulation as standard. Is he right?
Next up, we had a comment from Rémi, who does not see a market-based solution to improving the rate of home insulation in Europe. Is it up to governments to step in and invest in retrofitting existing homes? Or is this a job for the private sector?
Lastly, we had a comment from Lubomir arguing that: “Maybe governments should stop meddling so much in people’s lives, lower the taxes and let people insulate their houses however and whenever they like?”
To get a response, we put all three comments to Ciarán Cuffe, Green MEP from Ireland and a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. You can see his response in the video at the top of this post here.
Should governments retrofit all houses with better insulation for free? Does the EU need tougher regulations so all new houses are well-insulated? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!