Compare Renovation Policy Packages

Compare and analyse best practice policy packages for the renovation of residential buildings using specially developed criteria.

The interactive Policy Tool for Renovation enables you to compare and analyse 12 best practice policy packages for renovation from Europe and the United States using 14 specially developed criteria. The criteria define the best practice elements of a policy package for the renovation of residential buildings.

How to use it?

Conduct your own analysis by selecting the criteria that are of interest to you. Policy packages can be compared using a single criterion or using multiple criteria.

Each criterion is represented by a different color and the windmill icons represent individual policy packages. The size of each of the coloured segments in the windmills indicates how well policy packages have scored against each criterion.

Why a Policy Tool for Renovation?

Ambitious and robust energy efficiency policies and supporting measures play a critical role in ensuring a significant reduction in carbon emissions from buildings. By facilitating a detailed analysis of policy packages for renovation, this tool supports policy makers to understand the combinations of policies and supporting measures that have been successful in reducing energy consumption in renovated residential buildings in the selected countries/regions. By understanding how jurisdictions have designed and implemented these measures, policy makers can use this information to strengthen the development of ambitious renovation policy packages in future.

The GBPN, with the support of an expert panel, have identified 5 key themes that form the basis of a “best practice” renovation policy package. A detailed set of 14 criteria has been developed to rigorously assess the performance of policy packages under those themes. The final theme acts as a performance indicator that analyses the performance of a region’s policy package in terms of reduced energy consumption. Below you will find details of each of the 5 themes and the 14 supporting criteria.

Regulatory Measures

This theme is designed to consider the level of ambition of the policy package. Targets and regulations are favoured instruments for reducing energy consumption, as they are a cost effective way of ensuring a more efficient building stock in the long-term. To be efficient, targets should be well planned, regularly strengthened and properly enforced.

This theme considers the ambition of regional/national measures based on the criteria below: 

  • Overall National Targets

    An overall national target will set the level of ambition for the region in terms of energy savings. The overall reduction target is the umbrella for the different sectoral targets. 

    This criterion is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • How committed to the target is the region?
    • How ambitious is the target?
    • Is the target achievable?

  • Residential Buildings

    To implement the “deep” renovation scenario, governments will need to set clear, binding and ambitious targets (in terms of depth and scale) that provide direction to all parties involved and give a clear focus for investment and market development.  Energy performance targets will require for the whole residential building stock to be improved/upgraded to a specific level in a certain number of years.

    This criterion is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Has the Government set carbon/energy targets for the whole building stock?
    • Has the Government set renovation targets for the existing building stock?
    • Is there a roadmap leading to these targets?
    • Do the roadmaps integrate energy performance of buildings with broader societal goals (social issues such as health, job creation, etc.)?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

  • Public Buildings

    Similarly, to undertake a ‘deep’ renovation strategy, specific policy targets for the renovation of public buildings need to be stringent and ambitious and should set an example for the level of ambition for renovation of the rest of the building stock. 

    This criterion is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Has the Government set carbon/energy targets for public buildings?
    • Has the Government set renovation targets for the existing public building stock?
    • Is there a roadmap leading to these targets?
    • Do the roadmaps integrate the energy performance of buildings with broader societal goals (social issues such as health, job creation, etc.)?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction? 

Building Assessment

Holistic building energy codes and robust energy labelling schemes are an essential aspect of any successful renovation policy package. This theme considers both of these policy measures. 

  • Code Requirements

    The country/states’ building code should set minimum energy performance levels and minimum technical requirements for the renovation of the existing building stock. They should also be dynamic and well enforced.

    This criterion is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Has the building energy code been revised in light of the renovation targets?
    • Are these requirements performance based and how stringent are they?
    • Are these requirements component based and how stringent are they?
    • Is the building code dynamic?
      • Are the energy requirements set in the building code on track to meet the national (renovation) targets?
      • How often are they revised?
    • How is compliance with the building code enforced?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

  • Labelling Schemes

    Certification of renovated buildings supports the implementation of energy efficiency measures as it allows for the direct energy comparison of buildings. Such schemes usually form part of an enforcement regime. Within a best-practice policy package, it is expected that mandatory certification schemes would be established within each region/country. If voluntary labelling schemes are implemented they need to encourage buildings to go beyond the minimum energy performance standard.  

    The following sub-criteria assess the ambition of such schemes:

    • Is there a certification scheme in place?
      • Is the certification scheme mandatory?
      • Is the certification scheme voluntary?
    • How frequently must the certificates be updated?
    • Are certificates required at the time of rent or sale?
    • Is there a publically available register of the energy performance of buildings?
    • Is the certification based on:
      • An energy audit by an independent assessor?
      • A self-assessment?
    • Are there proportionate penalties for failure to comply, and are these enforced?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

Financial Instruments

This theme considers the specific financial instruments that support energy renovations.  One of the main barriers to energy renovations is a lack of finance.  As a result, financial and fiscal instruments as essential to overcome such obstructions.  As part of a successful policy package a number of instruments should be in place to incentives the uptake of energy renovations.

The three criteria below assess the financial and fiscal remedies in place to address this barrier.

  • Incentive Schemes

    Financial incentives such as subsidies, grants and loans are effective in encouraging building owners and occupants to invest in energy saving measures.  These instruments, with better terms and/or reduced interest rates, for building energy efficiency improvements will typically finance all or most of the investment.  Public funds should be a catalyst for encouraging the use of private funding – they should be used as a tool to encourage investment in projects to go beyond cost-optimal.

    This criterion is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Is there fiscal support offered by the state/country for renovation of buildings?
    • What type of fiscal support is available?
    • Are the incentives provided as part of a holistic package of measures?
    • On what basis is the incentive distributed:
      • “Conditionality” (only access to funds is allowed if substantial savings will be provided)?
      • “Progressivity” (more financing for the most ambitious renovations)?
    • Do funding mechanisms promote the involvement of private financing to leverage investment?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

  • Taxation Mechanisms

    The major barriers to energy renovations are both economic and financial. Fiscal instruments such as tax rebates provide one possible solution to overcoming these barriers.

    This criterion will be assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Tax incentives
      • Have tax exemptions, differentiations and/or reductions been established?
      • Is the exemption ambitious?
      • Tax credit for a holistic renovation?
      • Tax credit for specific components?
      • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?
    • Energy or carbon taxes?
      • Is there a carbon/energy taxing system set up?
      • What does this target?
      • Who does the tax apply to?
      • Is there a fixed charge/tonne of emission / energy produced?
      • Is the tax ring-fenced (invested into efficiency)?

Economic Instruments

This theme considers the specific economic and market based instruments that support energy renovations.  These instruments are key to an energy renovation policy package as they can create markets for energy renovation that have not previously existed.  The criteria under this theme incorporate the three main economic and market-based instruments.

  • Utility-Funded Programmes

    Utilities provide a good opportunity for leveraging resources for renovation programmes. Utility programmes are typically restricted to their ratepayers, and may further be restricted to measures that relate to the fuel type they provide. For instance, an electricity utility company may provide incentives only for those measures that address electricity consumption, whereas a gas utility may only incentivise gas efficiency measures. Also, utilities are often required to provide EE services or special rates to their low‐income customers. The characteristics of utility rate structures (subsidies, demand charges, time of day rates) can affect the affordability of energy, and therefore the desirability of energy efficiency improvements. Utilities play a strong part in funding efficiency in some jurisdictions and this criterion assesses their contribution.

    The following sub-criteria will support that assessment:

    • What energy saving measures will be provided?
    • What kind of funding is available?
    • On what basis is the incentive distributed:
      • “Conditionality” (only access to funds is allowed if substantial savings will be provided)?
      • “Progressivity” (more financing for the most ambitious renovations)?
    • Up to what percentage of the cost do the utilities pay?
    • ​How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

  • Market Instruments

    Specific market mechanisms can be implemented to promote energy renovations. Energy Saving Companies (ESCOs) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) can be used as a mechanism to encourage deep renovation via third party financing.  This criterion will assess the impact of these developments/schemes.

    The following sub-criteria will support that assessment:

    • Is the ESCO market for energy renovations well developed in the region?
    • What services are covered?
    • Do ESCOs work on the projects related to deeper energy efficient renovation?
    • Are there policies in place supporting or mandating the use of ESCOs?

Capacity Building

This theme assesses complementary voluntary instruments that support the implementation of energy renovations. These softer policy instruments, such as information and capacity building, can improve our understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding energy renovation.  The three criteria below are deemed to be very important elements of a renovation policy package.

  • Training and Education

    When combined with other instruments, awareness raising and information campaigns can support individuals to reduce their energy consumption by informing them of the financial and related benefits of renovation (and why the more ambitious renovation is a cost effective option), the technologies available and the support mechanisms (e.g. financial incentives) to encourage the consumer to invest in improving the energy performance of their building.  In order for a deep path to be followed and for energy renovations to become the norm, appropriate training and accreditation programmes must be in place for trades people and professionals working in the field as the implementation of energy efficient building solutions requires strong technical capacity and expertise of all parties involved in the renovation.

    This theme is assessed using the following sub-criteria:

    • Are consumers and market players provided with appropriate energy saving advice and information about relevant incentives for energy efficient renovation?
    • Are there training activities and accreditation bodies set up for building specialists (e.g. engineers, architects, inspectors, installers, builders, etc.) to increase and ensure their technical capacity for deep renovations?
    • Have training and educational materials, which include information on deep renovation, been developed for use in professional training, schools and universities?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

  • One Stop Shop

    One-stop solution centres for energy renovation are not very common yet but can play an important part in informing consumers about how to implement a deep energy renovation from the design to financing. Such centres bring key market players together to provide attractive offers and information about deep energy renovation to consumers. 

    The following sub-criteria are used to assess whether such centres have been developed in the country/region:

    • Is there robust collaboration between market actors to deliver deep renovations?
    • Is there a successful track record for deep renovation projects conducted under a public-private partnership (PPP)?
    • How does this support the uptake of deep renovations in the jurisdiction?

     

Overall Performance

To prove that the policy package is successful, the energy consumption of the residential building stock in the country/region must have decreased (either per capita or totally and per unit floor area).  The GBPN believes that the overall performance of the policy package is critical when analysing whether the package can be defined as having “best practice” elements.

The following criteria (and sub-criteria) assess the impact of the policies:

  • Consumption/Capita

    • How is this measured?
    • What systems are in place to ensure that the reductions continue to be achieved until the targets are reached?

  • Consumption/Unit

    • How is this measured?
    • What systems are in place to ensure that the reductions continue to be achieved until the targets are reached?

  • Total Consumption

    • How is this measured?
    • What systems are in place to ensure that the reductions continue to be achieved until the targets are reached?

The Purpose of the Policy Tool for Renovation

This interactive “Policy Tool for Renovation” facilitates the comparison and analysis of twelve renovation policy packages for residential buildings from Europe and the United States. Fourteen specially developed criteria have been developed, with the support of a panel of international experts, to enable this analysis.

The tool allows us to:

  • Compare policy packages based on different criteria by selecting and deselecting criteria in the interactive tool above.
  • Access detailed information about each of the policy packages.
  • Generate graphs based on time series data for energy performance in the respective countries/regions.

All data can be used and re-used in HTML, PDF and machine-readable raw data (CSV) formats.

Watch the Tutorial: