European Union to tackle housing insulation

I have been advocating housing insulation back to 2006 when I was writing my Master’s thesis at Audencia Nantes Management School. Then I discovered the huge potential of insulating French buildings.

Since then I have been dreaming that one day politicians, leaders, and other people in charge would finally understand that weatherizing the million of appartments that need it around the world is THE right move.

It seems that my call has been heard, or more plausibly that some important people in the higher European spheres share my belief.

Indeed, as Reuters reports, The European Union may soon ” pass a triple whammy environment policy in the first half of this year that would bring a rapid jobs boost, cut energy bills and improve the environment by one simple measure: keeping Europe’s buildings in good repair. “

Here are more details :

Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the EU Energy Efficiency Directive includes a commitment to retrofit a certain number of public buildings each year, improving insulation and stopping leaks.

“We have proposed a percentage of 3 percent a year, and that’s out of an employment perspective as well,” she told Reuters at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

“One of the few things that can create jobs very, very fast in Europe is if you actually doing something with retrofitting pipes, retrofitting energy systems, retrofitting houses – that creates jobs very, very quickly after you have adopted these kind of policies. There are not so many other issues that can do that.”

(…) Better insulation for Europe’s buildings would help a construction sector that “needs it very badly,” Hedegaard said.

“It’s estimated that that energy efficiency alone could generate 500,000 jobs in the years up to 2020. But we also have other initiatives in the climate field where all in all there is the potential of creating 2 million new jobs up to 2020, if we get it right.

“It’s a sector where they could actually have the labor in there very fast.”

(…) Cutting energy use is also an important policy aim because of the twin risks of environmental damage and reliance on expensive energy imports. The EU has put an embargo on oil imports from Iran from July, further squeezing its supplies.

The retrofitting work would be supported by the EU budget and would help European governments to save money in the future by cutting wasteful energy use, as well as boosting employment.

The European Parliament and EU member governments would have to back the proposal, which the European Commission launched last autumn.

Denmark, the current holder of the European Union presidency, is determined to have the measure in place by the time its six month term ends in June, Hedegaard said.

OK. It’s just public buildings for the time being. But if these measures are brought forward they will be successful.

And, if this success is overwhelming – and believe me, it will be – the European Union will be willing to insulate all buildings.

What do you think ?

1 thought on “European Union to tackle housing insulation”

  1. Hi,

    My building is currently being insulated with polystyrene. I’ve heard that it is highly flammable, and there has indeed been one unfortunate incident in my country when such a building took fire.
    I am, however, looking forward to seeing whether the huge amount of disruption brought on by these building works will be worth it once the work has been completed. Yes, it’s a nuisance when , for instance, there are roadworks going on, and we all sit behind the wheel and sigh *ah. the endless roadworks* But that is, I suppose, there to improve things. Something one has to put up with in the name of progress – and that is fine.
    However, I am deeply unconvinced by this insulating business, but I do hope I’m wrong and that we see things improving.
    (for the record, I am in favour of fitting pvc windows etc.)


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