EEP Group

Kelly calls for enhanced financial sector role in energy renovation of buildings

Published: Fri, 22 March 2024

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Dublin, Ireland – Sean Kelly MEP, lead negotiator for the European Parliament’s biggest political group on the Buildings Directive, emphasised the critical role of the financial sector in incentivising renovations to achieve energy efficiency goals. Speaking at the “Energy Efficient Buildings – Reaching National and European Goals” event hosted by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, Kelly highlighted the urgency of addressing energy performance in the built environment.

Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, underscored the need for coordinated efforts to transition towards climate neutrality by 2050. He stated, “Scaling up the deployment of renewable energy technologies is crucial, but maximising the efficiency of our existing building stock is equally essential. It’s a matter of climate, energy security, and economic competitiveness.”

The event provided a platform for discussing the latest European initiatives for decarbonizing buildings and efforts made by Irish lenders to support retrofitting projects. Kelly emphasised the significance of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in facilitating energy-efficient renovations. Kelly said he was extremely pleased at the recent approval of the EPBD agreement by the European Parliament, stating, “The EPBD will make it easier for people to renovate their homes, ensuring our buildings consume less energy and rely on cheaper and greener renewable sources.”

Kelly highlighted the role of national Building Renovation Plans in driving renovation efforts, stressing the importance of financing and skilled labor availability. He noted, “The EPBD mandates the establishment of One-Stop-Shops and national renovation passport schemes, simplifying the renovation process and promoting technical energy advancements.”

Drawing attention to the financing gap for green renovations, Kelly stressed the need for enhanced involvement of the financial sector. “The European Commission estimates a funding gap of €214 billion annually for green financing. Private finance, particularly bank loans, will play a pivotal role in achieving energy efficiency targets,” he stated.

Kelly called for stronger links between the financial and renovation sectors, pointing out the flexibility and decentralisation of bank lending. “Grants are vital, but loans offer elastic and decentralised financing options through commercial retail banks,” he explained.

Kelly underlined the importance of a multifaceted approach to decarbonising buildings, combining government incentives with private finance. “Government actions are crucial, but private finance will also be pivotal in achieving our targets,” he asserted.

The event featured expert presentations and panel discussions on green buildings and financing the transition to energy efficiency, reflecting the collaborative efforts needed to address climate challenges.


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