How can the EU tap into the building sector’s potential for energy efficiency?


11 October 2016


Press Club Brussels Europe, Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels

2016 is presented as the ‘year of the delivery’ for the Energy Union project and, in this regard, is an inflexion moment on the road to a low-carbon economy. Egmont and the Development Group will continue to provide in-depth analysis and debate this year through two Energy Symposia followed by a High-Level Energy Conference in the framework of their project “Energy Transition: A multifaceted Challenge for Europe”. After a successful start with our 1st Symposium we are pleased to announce our:


 2nd Symposium

How can the EU tap into the building sector’s potential

for energy efficiency?

The construction sector is crucial to EU climate and energy policy as buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 35% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Moreover, the EU’s construction sector, including its extended value chain, is the largest European economic activity (9% of GDP) and provides 18 million direct jobs. Clearly, there is huge potential for reducing CO2 emissions by improving the energy efficiency of buildings, spurring the economy, creating new jobs, lowering the bill of consumers, and bolstering energy security. However, despite the huge benefits of renovating and renewing the EU’s building stock, current investments are five times lower than what is required to decarbonise the European economy by 2050. This can be explained, partly, by the fact that access to finance is complicated and that the sector is highly fragmented and sensitive to economic cycles.

In order to improve this situation, the Commission came up with the heating and cooling strategy earlier this year. In July, the Commission proposed an Effort Sharing Regulation for the non-ETS sectors – including buildings – in view of the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. Finally, the Commission is expected to propose renewed Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance in Buildings Directives and will publish a communication on “Smart financing for smart buildings” at the beginning of October.

In this changing context, the Symposium aims to look into the on-going EU policy discussions among stakeholders on the recently published directives, while identifying the remaining bottleneck and thinking through new proposals for the building sector to deliver its full decarbonisation potential.


Please find the exhaustive report of the event here

Please find the pictures of the event here



09:00 – 09:15 Welcome address

Stefan RAUSCH, Project Manager Public Affairs, Development Group

Quentin GENARD, Associate Fellow, Egmont Institute

09:15 – 09:45 Keynote address and Q&A

Theresa GRIFFIN, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament

09:45 – 11:00 Session 1: Will the legislative package close the energy efficiency gap in buildings?

Chair: Quentin GENARD, Associate Fellow, Egmont Institute


Moderator: Frauke THIES, Executive Director, Smart Energy Demand Coalition

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

 11:30 – 12:45 Session 2: Looking beyond legislation: what further measures need to be taken to tap into the buildings’ full potential?

Chair: Quentin GENARD, Associate Fellow, Egmont Institute


  • Laurent REBER, Development Director for Synergies, EDF Trade Division
  • Martin BORNHOLDT, Managing Director and Member of the Board, DENEFF
  • Erica HOPE, EU Affairs Manager, European Climate Foundation

Moderator: Monica FRASSONI, President, European Alliance to Save Energy

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch




Key Sponsor of the 2016 series of events

Gold sponsor of our 2nd symposium



(Photo credit: Anton Fomkin, Flickr)