Private homeowners are key to increasing renovation

Nearly 60% of Europeans live in detached and semi-detached houses, with an average of two adults in every family home4. However, up to three out of four of these homes are not energy efficient5. With 40% of Europe’s energy being consumed by homes and buildings and 36% of CO2 emissions being emitted by them6, there is a clear need for more energy-efficient homes throughout Europe. Therefore, private homeowners are key to achieving a more energy-efficient building stock.

Unlocking private investments in renovation

Carrying out the type of renovation that would transform a house into an energy-efficient and healthy home depends on the private homeowner’s means. Research conducted by Copenhagen Economics reveals that the available capital of an average European household is €139,000. Taking the national distributions of wealth into account, this means that 70% of European households would be able to afford a staged renovation. The available capital is in this analysis defined as financial assets, such as savings, shares etc., while non-financial assets are defined as equity available.

4 “The relation between quality of dwelling, socio-economic status and health in EU28 and its Member States”, Ecofys 2016.
5 COM (2016) 860 final Annex 
6 European Commission, Buildings (2017), available here:

There are 110 million detached and semi-detached single-family homes throughout Europe – 84% of them are owned by private homeowners. And a great deal of them need substantial renovations.

The landscape of European homes

of Europeans live in single-family homes

of single-family homes are privately owned

of Europe’s total CO2 emissions are emitted by homes and buildings

the number of single-family homes in Europe

Money in the kitty for renovation

Total available capital in households across Europe reaches more than EUR 30 trillion. This figure takes into account both financial capital such as savings and shares, as well as non-financial capital such as real estate/equity. The figure below shows available financial and non-financial capital per country, as well as the share of households in each country that would be able to afford a staged renovation. There are significant differences in levels of available capital across countries, but overall more than half of European households would be able to afford a staged renovation. Renovations not only deliver long-term savings through improved energy efficiency, but also offer improved living conditions, as well as making a significant contribution to the future value of a property.

Total private capital available for renovation across the EU

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