The climate emergency is one of the most talked about and vocalised issues the population of the Earth currently faces with climate strikes now being a weekly occurrence and with a regular spot on the 6 o’clock news, it’s no surprise that mitigation against climate change is high on the policy agenda.
The EU Building Stock Observatory (EU BSO) is a European Commission initiative which monitors the energy performance of buildings across Europe’s 28-member states (MS) and the EU as a whole. Whilst the database measures energy efficiency indicators of the EU built stock, we are looking towards the public to help contribute to this important project by filling out an online survey. The survey focuses on the building occupied by the respondent (both domestic and non-domestic buildings) to characterise the built stock, understand energy performance and energy renovations across the EU. The purpose of the survey is to provide a snapshot of the energy performance of the EU built sector across all MS in a consistent and comparable manner, and most significantly set a framework for the continuous monitoring of the built stock. To contribute to expanding this initiative please complete the survey by following this link.
Simply put (and I’m preaching to the converted here) EU scale improvements in energy efficiency bring about insurmountable benefits for everyone by reducing energy demand, energy bills and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (yes please!) and improved energy security (brilliant) by lessening the reliance on external suppliers and increasing energy affordability which has numerous social benefits. Over the past few years energy efficiency has been steadily climbing the energy policy ladder. As it is commonly regarded as the most abundant energy resource (well it’s the energy we don’t use, right?) and one of the cheapest and easiest routes to contribute towards meeting the EU’s climate and energy targets; the EU has implemented a variety of policy instruments to achieve energy savings of 20% by 2020, rising to 32.5% by 2030.
Why is the EU BSO significant?
Due to energy efficiency being viewed as an essential mechanism to assist the EU in meeting energy and climate targets, the need to assess the effectiveness of these policies has arisen. Thus, the EU BSO was created to facilitate the continual evaluation of the impact of energy efficiency policies concerning existing buildings across the EU. This database measures energy efficiency indicators across the EU built stock focusing on the following broad topic’s;
- Building stock characteristics,
- Technical systems,
- Financial aspects,
- Fuel poverty and social aspects,
- Building codes and national definitions.
The topics outlined above were developed to facilitate the assessment of energy efficiency improvements of the built stock and impact of this on the actual energy consumption of the building sector overall. Through the energy efficiency indicators in the EU BSO the data presented gives an overarching view of energy consumption patterns within each building typology across the EU. Thus, the chief purpose of the database is to provide a clear understanding of the effectiveness of EU policy measures and of market support mechanisms, which will steer an improvement in the depth and rate of building renovations to enhance energy efficiency across the EU.
The EU BSO aims to provide a snapshot of which building typologies across the EU built stock can garner the most significant energy efficiency and energy performance improvements through enhancements in policy and technologies. The significance of this is that the project will steer future EU energy efficiency policies, support mechanisms, and initiatives to contribute towards meeting energy and climate change targets.