Comfort and well-being drive renovation

Most private homeowners today would be willing to undergo a renovation if it made their home more energy efficient7. But energy efficiency isn’t the only incentive that drives renovation among Europeans. Almost three out of four would renovate to boost the comfort and health of their families. From last year’s Healthy Homes Barometer (2016), we know that most Europeans rate energy efficiency and comfort/well-being equally high when asked about their renovation reasons. 

The current renovation rate of existing buildings is low, with only about 1-2% of the building stock renovated each year8. This shows that there is a need to boost incentives that will encourage private investment. Therefore, health and well-being benefits should be included alongside better energy efficiency and resulting cost savings in renovation policies and end-user information. This would help to increase renovation rate.

Renovating to a healthy building would lead to fewer Europeans with respiratory diseases and lowered costs to society. If just 2% of European homes were appropriately renovated every year, the number of homes with dampness would be halved by 2050. Likewise, the number of Europeans with respiratory illnesses caused by living in damp homes would be reduced by 25% by 20509.

7 Healthy Homes Barometer (2016)
8 European Commission (2016)
9 Fraunhofer IBP (2016)

Improving energy efficiency isn’t the only reason to renovate a house; almost three out of four Europeans would renovate if it increased the comfort and well-being of their family.

What motivates Europeans to renovate their homes

Improve well-being

Save energy costs

Achieving our climate goals

If we are to take actions that make significant contributions to positively affecting climate change and health, Europe’s existing buildings are key. Renovating the non energy-efficient homes is a logical and meaningful start.

With so many non energy-efficient homes consuming so much of Europe’s energy, it’s clear that renovation will be key if nations are to achieve the climate targets laid
out in the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit the effects of climate change. But it is vital to understand what drives homeowners to invest in renovation.

The prospect of energy savings is appealing, but people also want to feel healthier and more comfortable in their homes. Addressing both these considerations will ultimately help encourage a higher renovation rate that will bring large-scale benefits to individuals and society alike.

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