Glass for Europe (GfE) answered to the Consultation on the Renovation Wave initiative for public and private buildings. By way of the renovation wave, the European Commission aims at increasing the low decarbonisation and renovation rates for improving the energy efficiency of the EU building stock.
In its answer, Glass for Europe stressed the key role of renovation to exit the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building renovation has a well-documented and massive spillover effect on jobs and public finances, which is essential at the time of recovering from an economic shock.
Undoubtedly, the construction industry is one of the most hit sectors at all levels. Throughout the flat glass value chain, many companies are SMEs who have experienced severe cash flow challenges during this time of little or no activity. Innovative financial mechanisms commensurate with the EU Green Recovery Plan are urgently needed to restart. The creation of an adequately allocated Renovation Fund to finance public and private renovation projects could support the relaunch of the construction sector value chain, and allow the decarbonisation of the EU building stock by 2050.
Doubling the windows’ replacement rate with adequate glazing specifications could reduce by 14 percent the energy consumption and related CO2 emissions in just ten years. Since windows stay on buildings for 40 to 50 years on average, it is urgent to ensure that high-performance glazing is installed as of now to ensure long-lasting savings. To Glass for Europe, setting an EU-wide financial scheme and a dedicated roadmap for replacing single glazed and early uncoated double-glazed windows with adequately specified windows, is a wise and essential step to make our buildings more energy-efficient and comfortable. An EU renovation wave must pave the way for such plans, either developed at EU or national levels.