Financial Incentives Would Help Drive Energy Retrofits

Homeowners worldwide want to renovate their homes to be more energy efficient, but are hesitant due to costs associated with the upgrades. However, almost 80 per cent of homeowners would retrofit their home if they were properly financially supported, says a report by ROCKWOOL Group and Cambridge Economics. The report confirms the public appetite for energy efficient buildings, while also showcasing the need for governments to develop fit-for-purpose renovation programs. On top of that, 73 per cent of people believe energy efficiency improvements should be mandatory, provided financial and administrative support is available. Sixty-two per cent believe it is their social responsibility to make their homes climate friendly, given the same support is available. “It may be a cliché, but it is also true – the cheapest, cleanest, and safest energy is that which we do not use. Global leaders have to remember that ideas are cheap, but energy is expensive. If we prioritize renovation, we send a clear message that we are investing in the future of people and our planet. And that is a winning formula that we can act on now,” says Jens Birgersson ROCKWOOL Group CEO. In the report ‘Unlocking the Benefits of Building Renovation,’ the authors urge policymakers to develop the long-term renovation programs that manufacturers need to plan production capacity and properly train more installers; team up with banks to combine public grants and low-interest loans; and make it easier for households to apply for subsidies and find qualified workers. They say this is an important matter as buildings are responsible for roughly 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, meaning increasing building renovation rates is central to achieving net-zero carbon targets.