Implementing energy efficiency measures is the way to achieve significantly lower energy consumption and reduce overall heating costs. Since heating represents 70% of all energy consumption in the residential sector it holds great potential for savings.
By improving the thermo-insulating properties of a building it is possible to achieve reduction of the total heat loss by 50-80 percent which can lead to equal or significant financial savings depending on the source of heating (as district heating usually has a fixed part in the cost structure and money can be saved on the volatile part).
The direct benefit of applying the energy efficiency measures is the money saved through reduced energy consumption. In privately owned buildings the benefits will typically accrue to the owner or the user of the building while in publicly owned buildings the benefits will go to the public or the users of the publicly rented apartments. Through the proper distribution of these benefits between public entities, this money will improve the public budgets.
The energy savings also implicitly include the avoided capital cost of building additional power plants, as these capital costs are included in the price of electricity. Energy savings through the renovation of the existing building stock is also one of the most attractive and low-cost options to potentially improve energy security by reducing imports of fossil fuels.
A study commissioned by Renovate Europe project in 2012 suggests that by harvesting the investment opportunities provided by the energy efficiency renovations in the existing building stock, the EU Member States can stimulate economic activity at an appropriate time, which can give rise to jobs for 760,000 – 1,480,000 people, and bring benefits to GDP of €153 – 291 billion depending on the level of investments.
This corresponds to between 1.2 per cent and 2.3 per cent of EU GDP. These benefits stem from increased economic activity the primarily affected sectors, as well as through the indirect impact on secondary sectors.