DENMARK: Optimising energy use in European buildings could unlock €67bn in energy savings and deliver around 15% of the EU 2030 energy efficiency target, a new report claims.

The new study, just released by energy consultancy Ecofys on behalf of Danfoss, claims that huge energy savings could be obtained from better management of energy flows inside European buildings.

The potential for savings has been insufficiently exploited, the report maintains, and claims that 75% of our housing stock is energy-inefficient.

Most of the vast amounts of energy is used to maintain the right temperature and air quality in heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

“When these systems are not working optimally, energy goes to waste, they cost money and cause damage to the health and the environment. But we have the technologies to prevent this,” says Danfoss. “Consistent improvements could help reduce energy waste, cut costs and make our buildings better places to be.”

The report assesses a scenario where buildings are renovated in the period until 2030. The energy consumption in these buildings could be reduced by around 30%, or around 156Mt CO2e, through upgrades to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and hot water systems.

“We have all the technologies at hand to make our buildings smart,” said Andre Borouchaki,  Danfoss’ senior vice president and CTO.

“Taking the findings of the new Ecofys study into account, we see that optimising the control of energy flows inside buildings and leveraging new technologies, like digitalisation, could deliver around 15% of the EU 2030 energy efficiency target,” he added. 

He called for political support to remove barriers and accelerate the speed and scale of the investments. “This will send the right market signals for innovation, jobs and sustainable growth.”

“The consistent optimisation of the energy use of technical building systems in existing buildings across Europe should start now,” said Dr Andreas Hermelink, associate director at Ecofys. “We are talking about no-regret measures that can quickly deliver very significant reductions of energy consumption, energy bills and CO2 emissions. The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive should give a strong and effective push for unleashing the full cost-effective savings potential of technical building systems.”

The study can be viewed and downloaded here.