New GBPN online Policy Tool for Renovations

The GBPN released a new online Policy Tool for Renovation that compares and analyses twelve best practice policies for the renovation of residential buildings from Europe and the United States.

The Tool scores six EU countries and six American states energy renovation policies against a set of fourteen criteria that define the key elements of a “state of the art” policy package. With this new in-depth analysis of the combination of elements and mechanisms behind current best practice renovation policy packages, the GBPN aims to assist decision makers in accelerating the design of more and deeper renovation policies to help tackle climate change while generating multiple benefits for our planet’s economic and societal well-being.

As GBPN’s research shows, buildings hold the key to a low carbon future. By 2050, we could inhabit a built environment that consumes 30% less energy than it does today (Buildings for Our Future, GBPN, 2013), even with expected population growth and expanded floor area. To achieve this, following the GBPN’s “deep path” for closing the energy and emissions gap in the building sector, the current global existing building stock must reduce its energy consumption by 70% by 2050. In Europe and in the United States, a huge potential for energy savings lies in the renovation of the existing residential building stock. Therefore, in these regions, it is urgent that deep energy efficiency renovation policies and supporting programmes become standard practice.

What are the elements that are critical when developing future energy renovation policies for existing residential buildings? What can we learn from current best practice policies in Europe and in the United States? Are they ambitious enough? What is needed to shift to state of the art renovation policy packages? To help answer these questions, the GBPN researched twelve best practice renovation policy packages that specifically target energy renovation in these regions: Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom in Europe and California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Vermont in the U.S.. With the support of a panel of international experts in the field, the GBPN identified fourteen criteria that define the key elements of a state-of-the-art policy package and scored the policies.

The outcome of the research captures the performance of the current best practices, enables their comparison and provides insight into what needs to be realised to accelerate more and deeper renovation policies. An overarching conclusion was found in the analysis that shows that we must go beyond best practice and towards “state of the art” practices aiming for a shift to deep renovations of the building stock.

The results of the research form an online tool that allows interactive visualisation of the scoring under each criterion. The tool facilitates comparisons between the jurisdictions and allows to access detailed information as well as to generate graphs based on time series data normalised of energy performance indicators in the respective countries/regions. The new Policy Tool for Renovation will be available in Chinese shortly.