Renovation
Energy Efficiency

The benefits of energy efficient buildings

Anthony Abbotts, Director Group Sustainability
Anthony Abbotts
24 January 2019

Did you know that retrofitting existing buildings in Europe with insulation could save twice as much carbon dioxide as France emits in a year?

Multi unit housing, MUH

The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recently took place in Katowice, Poland. A wide range of issues were discussed, but our climate goals remain as clear as ever. These goals involve maintaining this century’s average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Thus, the urgent need to consume less energy, along with reducing our carbon footprint, becomes a no brainer. But while you might consider unplugging your gadgets or taking less baths, there are more effective ways to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.  One such solution is retrofitting buildings with insulation to promote energy efficiency. After all, 28 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from energy use in buildings.

Retrofitting existing buildings in Europe with energy saving insulation could save
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of carbon dioxide, which is twice as much as France emits in a year.

Buildings can save
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more emissions than the next most cost effective sector, industry.

If we were to install energy efficient insulation for every existing building in Europe, that would contribute to saving 660 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s twice as much as France emits in a year! (1) In fact, for the same amount of money, buildings can save 40 percent more emissions than the next most cost effective sector, industry (2). If insulation such as stone wool products were used to save energy rather than generating more renewable energy €22 billion would be saved, equivalent to building 42000 new schools, which is far greater than many other carbon reduction methods (3).

50-90% of energy savings can come from new and existing buildings

Watch and learn more about overconsumption of energy

The benefits of energy efficiency also includes homes. Energy-saving homes allow us to enjoy lowered heating/cooling costs, and the reduced energy demand can provide us with better air quality. These benefits give us the ability to combat climate change while being more resource efficient. 

Do you want to live in a house that contributes positively to the environment? If so, you may want to consider renovating your home for improved energy efficiency. These efforts will help bring us closer to our ambitious climate goals, as you gain more control over your energy output and even enjoy cheaper bills in the process.


Source(s):

1. Internal calculation based on following sources: (1) BPIE, “Europe’s buildings under the microscope - A country-by-country review of the energy performance of buildings”; (2) European Commission, Joint Research Centre: EDGAR - Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, "CO2 time series 1990-2015 per region/country “ (2017)

2. IPCC, ”Climate change 2007 – Mitigation of climate change” 

3. BPIE, “Europe’s buildings under the microscope - A country-by-country review of the energy performance of buildings”; ); EIA (U.S. Energy Information Agency), Frequently asked questions, "How much carbon dioxide is produced when different fuels are burned?“; Department for Education and Education Funding Agency, "Area guidelines for mainstream schools", (2014); Statista, "Construction › Average cost per square meter of building schools/universities by region of the UK" (2018); IRENA, “Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency”, August 2017; Currencies have been converted using XE Currency Converter (16th of May 2018).

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