Energy savings through the renovation of the existing building stock is one of the most attractive and low cost options to reduce the emissions of CO2 and potentially improve energy security by reducing imports of fossil fuels. Indeed, there is wide evidence that undertaking energy efficient renovations at current energy prices often pay for themselves i.e. have negative investment costs.
Now is a particularly good time for pursuing such renovations. In addition to the permanent benefits these renovations may bring, it will also produce a much needed stimulus to the European economy at a time of economic underperformance, spare capacity and record low real interest rates in a number of countries. In addition to the energy savings that renovation of the existing buildings stock will bring, there are a range of co-benefits, which can also be harvested. By reducing energy consumption and focusing on indoor climate issues when renovating, co-benefits can be achieved such as reduced outlay on government subsidies, and improved health due to less air pollution and a better indoor climate, both of which also lead to fewer hospitalisations and improved worker productivity.