Background Material for Building Energy Efficiency in European Cities Workshop


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Background Material for Building Energy Efficiency in European Cities Workshop

  1. 1. november 2012 ARTICLE
  2. 2. 39Retrofitting 315 flats in Budapest with new external wall insulation and solar heatingrEtrOfIttINGOUr Way OUt Of rEcESSIONBy PauL cinigLio anD antonio BoRgHi CThe built environment of European cities must urgently get ity authorities have a vital role toin-shape so that it is “energy-fit” for the future. In order to achieve play in the retrofit revolution. This is no ordinary task; on the contrary,this transformation, owners and occupiers of buildings will need it is without doubt amongst theto be persuaded to make their assets more energy efficient. most challenging prospects Europe has everNot only will this require unprecedented investment, faced. Investment in the UK alone to meetbut our cultural city centres must also be preserved in national retrofit targets would be the equiva-the process. lent of building the Olympic games from scratch every year1.The URBACT “Building Energy Efficiency in European Cities” As the Energy Performance in Buildingsworkstream has been set up to examine the role of city public Directive 2 raises requirements and continuesauthorities for energy efficient urban communities through to bite, all member states need to developretrofitting in the building sector. This article presents an even more robust strategy to lower the environment impact of their buildings.the first findings of our work. This approach must reduce energy waste and consumption while improving energy efficiency and onsite generation from renewables. ■■■
  3. 3. 40 It is clear that a multitude of barriers will need competence of installers or products and to be overcome if we are to collectively realise don’t want to increase project budgets, and our European retrofitting aims3. If tangible contractors are not presented with eco- progress is to be made year on year in order design solutions and don’t develop the skills to reach our targets, next year is arguably the required. Consequently the circle revolves. last year in which politicians and urban policy makers have to overcome the principal Cities can play an important role in breaking obstacles to retrofitting so that climate change this circle by encouraging the transfer of can be seriously tackled. If we fail to rapidly knowledge to people concerned and by pick up the rate of retrofitting, it will be simply communicating to building owners and users impossible to address the task in later years. the benefits that retrofitting can bring, such as reduced operational costs, improved A strong and sustainable case exists for re- comfort, healthier buildings and the opportu- trofitting our existing buildings in preference nity to enhance the layout and facades of to their demolition and redevelopment. buildings at the same time. Moreover, taking European policy on retrofitting continues to advantage of “retrofit trigger points” or mature and coherent action must now follow. “golden moments” that arise when traditional Despite the most difficult times of austerity, refurbishment work is carried out will mini- the economic benefits of mass retrofitting mise the additional costs for eco-fit. could be the best opportunity to pull the EU out of recession. Taking advantage of This article primarily focuses on four interwo- “retrofit trigger points” ven catalysts for change. The first is to stimu- late demand for retrofit by improving its or “golden moments” appeal to building owners. This offer must be that arise when traditional attractive and ideally made at a time to match refurbishment work is demand for refurbishment work. The second is the need to seriously address fuel poverty carried out will minimise and provide affordable warmth to millions of the additional costs households in the face of rising energy supply for eco-fit. prices and static levels of household income. University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt The third is ensuring that adequate long-term before and after retrofit 2010/11, Cornelsen and affordable sustainable finance is in place Positive messages to potential clients, own- and Seelinger Architekten whilst simultaneously tackling user behaviour ers and occupiers shouldn’t be restricted to as an essential aspect of making the financing selling only the economic benefits of retrofit. work. The fourth issue focuses on our unique Broader advantages such as improved ther- urban heritage and the improvement of its mal comfort (e.g. tackling the cold wall effect) Estate agents also have a part to play in energy efficiency. Historic buildings have spe- can be a powerful motivator to act as it is incentivising retrofit. How can they be assisted cific peculiarities arising from their form and more easily understood by many occupants. to actively help reverse the current public construction which relate to their value as apathy towards Energy Performance material evidence of the past. Certificates? Is there a case for capitalising What about the role the value of a home following retrofit of professionals and building improvements? How can retrofit demand contractors? and appeal be stimulated? To what extent does sharing The role of architects and other professions in Cities have a key role in generating demand advancing high-quality retrofit is vital. Getting experience and making retrofit and appeal for retrofit. They are ideally placed the detailing right is crucial in order to avoid visual help? to facilitate, coordinate and drive action creating problems with future maintenance. through targeted policies, campaigns, semi- Indeed, the retrofit process should be viewed Best practice examples of completed retrofit nars and workshops that bring together as an opportunity to reduce long-term expen- projects can be very successful in generating professionals and stakeholders to discuss diture on maintenance. Architects and build- new demand. Clients generally like to see first potential solutions. ing professionals should also be called upon hand what is available to them before they to provide the professional retrofit services invest and retrofit is no different in this respect. The argument for retrofit at present often suf- required by the market. This will include help- fers from a market-wide communication fai- ing to engage and motivate the masses of A network of over 500 building users based lure, a so-called virtual “circle of despair”. building contractors to improve their skills in cities throughout Europe have helped to Owners and users are unaware of the benefits and understanding of retrofit, especially the improve awareness by participating in “The and often fearful of the disruption that retrofit- “golden moments” that will allow them to up- Display Campaign” to make the benefits of ting work will bring, designers are not fully sell their eco-retrofitting services at the most energy-saving visible and is underpinned by aware of the options, are cautious of the opportune time. effective communication to all building users.
  4. 4. RetRofitting ouR Way out of Recession 41 If real progress is to be made, citizens must typically on lower than average national Best practice examples of ultimately want more energy-efficient build- household incomes. The issue, however, is ings and city authorities must understand their certainly not limited just to social housing. completed retrofit projects motivation, and should act and appeal to this CECODHAS estimates that tens of millions of can be very successful in inclination, whether it is to make their building people across the continent are adversely generating new demand. look better, to make it more comfortable or to affected by the situation, many of whom will safeguard against fuel price inflation. reside in private sector and private rented accommodation5.A prolonged advertising campaign can be a To what extent can retrofit The effects of fuel poverty can be drastic withpowerful tool in selling the benefits of energy help alleviate household fuel poor health extremely common amongstfit renovation to the wider public. Well-known those caught in the trap and thousands ofTV personalities, for example, could help to poverty? excess winter deaths occurring every year,change customer attitudes. Furthermore, this especially among the elderly. Many house-type of approach could help to build on the Fuel poverty can be defined as the inability to holds are today facing the unacceptablegood work of the EU Covenant of Mayors and keep a home adequately warm at an afford- stark choice of simply whether to “heat ortheir responsibility to produce a holistic city- able cost. A common definition of fuel po- eat”.wide energy-saving action plan. verty, used in several European countries, is where a household spends more than 10% of While there is growing awareness and under- its disposable income on annual fuel bills. standing of fuel poverty and its causes, the Recent studies undertaken by European Fuel issue is not clearly defined in every European Poverty and Energy Efficiency (EPEE) revealed country even though similar problems such that in France and the UK as many as 12% of as unpaid energy bills, an increased burden all households live in fuel poverty by this defi- on health services, under-heating and nition. The EPEE proposes a practical guide self-disconnecting from fuel supplies are to local authorities to address the issue observed. As climate change takes effect, in through energy efficiency, using social tariffs, order to avoid thousands of summer deaths public funds and raising awareness4. from heat exhaustion, the demand for afford- able cooling is set to grow and will lead to Fuel poverty is particularly prevalent in even higher home running costs. Europe’s social housing sector, representing some 25 million homes, as occupants are How can the bill for retrofit be paid for? Case study – “Old Home Super Home” network, Financing retrofit on the scale required pre- Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA), UK sents a raft of difficulties to overcome. Central Over 140 home-owners who have retrofitted their homes have joined forces to showcase to this will be the understanding and mitiga- retrofitting to the public on open days in cities and towns. Public interest in the show tion of the relationship of technical and finan- homes has been immense with an average of over 20,000 visitors each year learning about cial risks in reaching a proposition. As with all a broad range of retrofit techniques. The power of the network is the impartial learning financial investments, it is not possible to pre- exchange between visitor and home owner. The SEA estimates more than 25% of visitors dict future market conditions. In the retrofit to a show home go on to spend over €5,000 on their own home following the visit. context, what would be the effect of extremely volatile energy supply prices or the costs The show home pictured in the street below was part of the “Retrofit South East” project of renewable energy equipment in world and whilst open received over 400 visitors including the local MEP. Here, residents of social markets? housing were responsible for helping to determine the future of their prefabricated homes which were taken from a band “E” to a band “A” Energy Performance Certificate rating. The principal financial problem is one of return The retrofitted homes have put pride back into the local community and reduced annual on investment. Only by taking a long-term running costs by as much as 60%. view of the investment can this be easily justi- fied. The problem for retrofit is exacerbated where building owners or occupiers do not intend to remain in their property-based assets in the longer term. In the wake of the financial crisis, it is appa- rent that banks are reluctant to lend against new finance mechanisms they perceive as higher-risk. This is unfortunately slowing innovative alternative methods of financing retrofit coming to be widely available in the market place. ■■■
  5. 5. 42 The URBACT CASH network has docu- The proportion of ERDF funds available for energy efficient mented a number of legal instruments to facilitate the active participation of social retrofit from 2014 is expected to substantially increase up housing occupiers in renovation works. to 20%. “Brindisi City Council has agreed to provide 30% of rental income to the tenants’ union for self-management, including energy effi- ciency measures. The Regional Observatory of the Apulia Region (ORCA) has developed The European context a database of stakeholders’ needs and is using it to support the region in drawing Retrofit is able to attract EU Cohesion funds through the European Regional Development up adapted regional regulation on the energy Funding (ERDF) subject to match funding. efficiency renovation of public social The current ERDF fund for 2007-13 was €201 billion with €55 billion allocated to the housing”7. competitiveness and employment objective. In 2009, rule changes to the structural funds allowed regions to allocate up to 4% of ERDF budgets to the retrofitting of social housing. In Germany, the KfW development bank CECODHAS Housing Europe have witnessed mixed success with the uptake of funds set aims to promote the construction of new aside for this purpose by their members. energy-efficient homes and the energy- The proportion of ERDF funds available for energy efficient retrofit from 2014 is expected efficient refurbishment of older residential to substantially increase up to 20%. The challenge will be to make sure that blockages buildings by offering grants or loans under to funding allocation are cleared throughout the EU and that the full quota of resources favourable conditions. KfW have recently is used effectively for its intended purpose. started their “At your doorstep” initiative to directly provide those interested in KfW pro- motional offers with advice on all aspects of energy-efficient construction and refurbish- City authority owned and occupied buildings How should user behaviour in ment. KfW intend to set up an “Information are in a favourable position in which to benefit relation to retrofit finance be house” in central locations in different cities from retrofitting; in fact they have been directly for three days at a time to offer financial addressed by the new Energy-Efficiency dealt with? advice. Directive. Not only does the long-term inte- It is usual for energy modelling to be under- rest exist, but the savings in the running costs taken before work commences to predict the that are realised following energy-efficient re- typical savings the occupier should achieve What kind of retrofit finance trofitting also remain with the public authority under normal conditions. The post-retrofit enabling the payback on the investment to be reality can unfortunately be very different. The is more likely to be successful? more readily achieved. However, retrofitting influence of user behaviour, which is notori- 3% per year of the buildings owned and ously difficult to control, becomes critical to There are many approaches to finance in occupied by central government (as indicated the investment working because it makes operation in the EU although they are often in the EE Directive) is not a sufficiently ambi- energy cost reductions uncertain. Can this bespoke to central government legislation tious target. risk ever be sufficiently mitigated? rather than city policy. In Denmark, a small proportion of the taxation system is specifi- Where city councils own but do not occupy To improve the likelihood of achieving running cally allocated to a retrofitting fund while in buildings, which is typical in the case of social cost savings, occupants of buildings should Italy up to 55% of energy renovation costs housing, the justification to act is less obvious be included in the retrofit process from incep- can be subsidized by the State over 10 years from a purely financial perspective. Having tion to completion. Central to this involvement via tax reduction. These types of initiative made the investment, the problem of the should be incorporating occupiers in a cam- have driven a significant reduction in the envi- benefits from running cost savings accruing paign to change energy behaviour. For hous- ronmental footprint across the building sector to the occupant and not the investor are ing associations, community-wide approaches over the last decade and city authorities have presented and not easily reconciled. The on- work well. The programme should not be a the ability to take a more active role in their going funding squeeze on local authorities bolt on to the retrofit-process, but rather an promotion to encourage wider uptake of only underlines the difficulty they face in integral part as energy-fit buildings require retrofit. advancing retrofitting. energy-fit users if the investment is to work. There are many good examples of commu- The new UK Government flagship initiative Some solutions to this problem have been nity-based energy campaigns in the EU that called the “Green Deal” 8 was launched in found when government legislation such once replicated will help to make project out- 2012 and in parallel will see a £1.3billion as the “Warm Rent” approach in the comes more certain. Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Netherlands allows a Landlord to increase invested with the aim of encouraging the the rent charged for a property where the mass retrofitting of residential and com- building has undergone an energy efficient Energy-fit buildings mercial property. Several city councils overhaul. Carbon trading such as “White such as Birmingham and Newcastle have Certificates” 6 is another means of reduc- require energy-fit users if responded promptly to develop local ing the financial burden on property the investment is to work. approaches to maximise the potential of owners. the Green Deal.
  6. 6. RetRofitting ouR Way out of Recession 43 should be mindful that persuading a building maintaining existing communities. The potential Revolving Retrofit owner to take out additional retrofit loans in drawback is that the opportunity to increase the future could be difficult. housing density in the redevelopment process Guarantee Fund (RRGF), is largely lost. If carbon reduction is the priority, Global Environmental Social When considering the urban dimension, op- what should be the preference of city authori- Business (GESB), portunities for more cost-effective approaches ties – retrofitting or redevelopment? Budapest & Miskolc, bringing economies of scale to retrofit can Hungary arise. Installing district heating or combined While robust nearly zero-carbon standards heat and power plant in densely-built zones for new buildings must be adopted, the emis- The RRGF model, originally developed will proportionately reduce the costs of sions from new energy-efficient buildings rep- by the World Bank, has been highly becoming energy-fit. The role of Energy resent only a tiny proportion of the emissions successful in Central and Eastern Service Companies (ESCo) and smart grid needing to be cut from the EU’s overall built Europe with over 100,000 homes infrastructure must be planned well in environment in the long-term. Furthermore, in these regions already having advance as integrated strategic solutions. new low-carbon buildings are an expensive benefitted from retrofit loans using and slow way of tackling the problem. a non-asset-based finance programme. Borrowing takes place against a cash Transforming our cities: Should it be argued, perhaps controversially deposit guarantee fund. Investing in retrofitting or site that the standards demanded for new build- In the event of default on loan redevelopment? ings are being set too high? Should they be repayments, arguably the biggest risk reduced, allowing some of the higher invest- to commercial bank lenders, the lender A common feature dominating the skyline of ment that would have been spent to be has the option to draw down on the many cities is the unoccupied, old, outdated redirected to concentrate on retrofitting exist- guarantee fund as security. high-rise office blocks. The demolition of ing buildings? After all, existing buildings The experience of GESB’s programme these structures followed by redevelopment represent over 99% of the EU’s emissions in Hungary is that the loan eligibility of the site is an obvious option, but should the problem. A balance needs to be struck. The criteria adopted have resulted in close refurbishment of these buildings through re- recent work of the “Zero Carbon Hub” and to zero defaults on loan portfolio trofitting be the preferred option? A new use the so called “allowable off site solutions”10, repayments. for these buildings might even be viable, such enabling a developer to buy out of residual In this way the lending is effectively as converting undesirable office space into carbon emissions, is interesting for the future. de-risked and becomes more flats which in turn would address demand for affordable. housing in city centres. How can the retrofit process help The model has unrivalled leverage potential, especially as the fund revolves. Much of Europe has become obsessed with preserve the cultural heritage “energy in use” of buildings when what really of cities? Take-up of the socially orientated RRGF needs to be considered is the through-life car- loans has been high, especially in bon emissions. By taking into account the Historic centres play a vital function in setting formerly state-owned housing as locked-in or embodied energy of the existing the character and identity of our cities; they residents feel more secure than relying structure, the refurbishment process will nor- help to offer a unique sense of place and his- on traditional loan finance. mally produce a fraction of the emissions tory and help visitors navigate from place to caused by demolition and site redevelopment. place. Most of the cities worldwide preserve The “Retrofit South East” UK project9 included their historic centre either in part or as a a through-life carbon emissions study con- whole. It is worth mentioning, too, that his-How can cost and carbon cluding that the advanced retrofit of old homes toric buildings represent a third of thesavings best be reconciled? compared to demolition and building nearly European built stock. These buildings hold zero-carbon new houses is more favourable. special values due to their character as mate-There is much talk within Europe of “cost opti- The retrofitted home produced lower emis- rial culture; they are protected by law whichmal retrofit”. Essentially, this considers the sions over a 50-year comparison period and means only minimum intervention to preserveratio of money spent to the amount of carbon could be delivered at 40% less cost. their authenticity is permitted. Moreover, theyreduction achieved. Selecting the most differ from modern structures both in archi-appropriate retrofit strategy for the building Scaling this up to current levels of national hous- tecture and in construction which increaseswill help to produce more favourable results. ing demolition alone creates a compelling argu- difficulties in assessing their energy efficiency.However, consensus on how much we can ment for reusing our existing buildings whileafford to cut emissions in reality appears to In most cases, historic buildings do notremain absent. respond well to contemporary needs. As a result, they can often be less desirable toThe approach to retrofit also requires atten- The advanced retrofit of occupy, may remain empty and ultimatelytion as it has a direct impact on cost. Is it more old homes compared to decay, detracting from the image of the cityeffective to retrofit a house just once, adopt- demolition and building centre. Therefore, a major retrofit challenge ising a holistic package of retrofit measures, or how we successfully retain our landmarkare single or piece meal interventions intro- nearly zero-carbon new historic buildings at a time when the needduced over time the better approach? The houses is more favourable. for their renovation and re-use appears toanswer will depend on many factors but we be urgent. Energy efficiency hasn’t to date ■■■
  7. 7. 44 officially extended to heritage buildings. Nonetheless, occupants of protected build- The White Rose Foundation, Delft (The Netherlands) ings also need to have a healthy and thermally comfortable internal environment at an afford- The White Rose Foundation, a case study of the URBACT LINKS Network, transformed a able price to install and run. 16th-century-monument, located along the oldest canal in Delft, into a monument of stunning beauty though restoration and retrofitting. Due to the strong interest of cities to preserve Within the context of the INTERREG IV B Project LivingGreen, the eco-restoration included their cultural heritage, important steps have the use of sustainable materials, measures for energy and water saving, renewable energy been made in assessing their thermal perfor- generation, and smart technologies to monitor energy use. mance as well as methods of how this can be improved. As a general rule, facades are fully- This is just an example of how energy retrofitting can be adapted to unique architectural retained and minimal alterations are made to features. their internal form and structure in relation to their values. Interventions should prefera- bly also be reversible. The introduction of double-glazed windows, floor, ceiling and wall insulation undertaken internally can, where permitted, be amongst some of the acceptable retrofit works. In addition, more accessible options include making building services such as heating and lighting more efficient and engaging users and visitors in an energy or water-saving campaign. The use of renewable energy in certain cases may also be allowed. In general, the possible options and mea- sures need to be determined specifically to suit the building while respecting its individual qualities and the needs of the occupants. Future-proofing the Historic Centre of Bayonne (France), Lead Partner of the URBACT LINKS network The city of Bayonne has identified as the priority objective to enhance energy efficiency of its urban fabric in the historic centre to safeguard its intrinsic quality. To do so, local craftsmen, professionals, suppliers and end users are involved in eco-restoration projects. The project demonstrates how historic homes can be effectively eco-renovated while maintaining their specific features, using natural materials and how traditional construction skills and repair techniques can be passed down from craftsmen to apprentices. A series of training events (Café Thématique) and knowledge-sharing sessions (Form-Action) have been organised to mainstream eco-restoration creating new job opportunities. Frédérique Calvanus from the City of Bayonne says that the project “mobilised a network of actors, identifying opportunities for the local economy, taking part in structuring the eco-restoration market and stimulating demand are the priority objectives of the URBACT LINKS project.” One difficultly that the project has encountered was the amount of time spent in gaining certification for insulation products for historic buildings. The provision, by the City of Bayonne, of interest-free loans for the retrofitting of historic buildings makes the case for this type of offer to be made more widely available in the EU, especially for those less able to pay.
  8. 8. RetRofitting ouR Way out of Recession 45Frank debates will almost certainly need to in our cities. Reviewing examples of the best (8) Under the Green Deal the building owner is not required to pay the upfront capital to finance the retrofitbe held between cities responsible for continental practices will help pan-European work required. Instead, a loan is taken out whichsafeguarding historic buildings and their approaches to emerge. together with borrowing costs is placed as a charge onoccupants or professional agents. What the electricity meter of the property. The Green Dealcompromises are we prepared to accept Paying for retrofit requires special attention by relies on the so called “Golden rule” principle whereby the amount repaid in the first year will be less than orif the running costs of historic buildings are to city authorities. Failure to act is not an option equal to the running costs in the previous year. If thebe kept sustainable in the long-term? as it would lead to dire social consequences. building owner moves, the value of the outstanding loan Retrofit is a proven method of helping to alle- will transfer to each subsequent owner until it is repaid viate the root causes of fuel poverty, which in full. It is unlikely that loans above £10k and repaidHow do we get the knowledge continues to grow throughout Europe. over a 25 year period will be viableand skills in place? (9) lifetime_emissions_final_report_feb_2012.pdf With funding priorities for European Regional (10) retrofitting of historic buildings requires Development Funding (ERDF) about to becontractors to have the requisite skills and set, the time is right for lobbying and makingunderstanding of how old buildings work. The firm recommendations to decision-makers.fabric of historic buildings and construction City public authorities have a pivotal role tomaterials function in a different way, which play in driving retrofit forward in the urbanmeans modern retrofitting techniques are not environment and must rise to the challengealways suitable. without delay.Another problem under discussion is how to It is asserted that “the” number one funding Acknowledgements to…deal with the increasing cost of the retrofit of priority for the EU in the coming years shouldhistoric buildings due to the specific be retrofitting in order for cities to becomedemands deriving from their nature and energy-fit. So, let the retrofit revolution People involved in workstreamcharacter. begin! • activities so far:There is still much to be done. Questions Worsktream coordinator:such as knowing what the true energy status • Antonio Borghi, Lead Expert of theof historic buildings is, how deep retrofit inter- URBACT LINKS networkventions can go and whether sufficient (1) The London Olympic Games cost approximatelyhistoric retrofit knowledge exists still need £9 billion. To meet the UK’s obligations under the Workstream core group members:to be resolved on a wider scale. As a Climate Change Act 2008, which requires an 80% • Paul Ciniglio, Sustainability Strategist,labour-intensive economic activity which is reduction in GHG emissions by 2050 on 1990 levels, First Wessex every year half a million existing homes would require • Kleopatra Theologidou Kalaitzis, Cityimpossible to de-localise, eco-restoration retrofitting to an advanced energy performancecan certainly be a major driver of local eco- standard costing on average at least £20,000 per home of Veria, partner in the URBACT LINKSnomic development involving a broad range or £10billion in total per annum networkof suppliers and professionals. Are we really (2) The Directive on the energy performance of • emilio D’Alessio, The Europeanmoving towards the right framework to buildings (EPBD) of the European Parliament and Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign Council came into force on 4 January 2003 committing • J.Owen Lewis, former CEO of theunlock its potential? the EU to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The re-cast EPBD adopted in 2010 requires energy Sustainable Energy Authority of efficiency measures for all buildings, removing the Ireland (SEAI), Professor Emeritus,Conclusion: Retrofitting 1000sqm threshold and setting the ambitious target that all new buildings will be nearly zero-energy by University College of Dublinas No. 1 Priority? 2020. Regrettably the opportunity to improve existing Witnesses and advisors: buildings was missedIt is clear that the retrofit agenda demands (3) Referring to the Energy Efficiency Directive adopted • Frédérique Calvanus, City of Bayonne,that Europe looks back in time at its built by the EP on 11th September 2012, rapporteur Claude Lead Partner of the URBACT LINKSenvironment if we are to create the cities of Turmes said that “This essential legislation is not only network crucial for achieving our energy security and climate • Jan Dictus, Lead Expert of thetomorrow. The opportunities that mass retro- goals; it will also give a real boost to the economy andfitting can bring are abound. Indeed, retrofit create jobs. Crucially, it will reduce the sizeable and URBACT CASH networkcould potentially hold the key to reversing the growing cost of our dependence on energy imports • Peter Schilken, ENERGY CITIEScurrent financial crisis by literally retrofitting – €488 billion in 2011 or 3.9% of GDP – which is • eleni Goni, IEE Project Officer, particularly stark in crisis-hit countries” SHELTER, Architects’ Council of Europeour way out of recession. In addition, people (4) www.fuel-poverty.organd the environment are the main beneficia- (5) CECODHAS Housing Europe is the federationries of the transformation of our cities through of public, cooperative and social housingretrofitting. (6) White Certificates are documents certifying thatIn addition to city initiatives, national legisla- a certain reduction of energy consumption has beention also needs to be reviewed if European achieved. In most applications, the certificates are MoRe infoRMation tradable and combined with an obligation to achieveemission reduction targets are to be met. a certain energy-saving target. Urbact 2012 conference website: raft of barriers must urgently be eliminated workshops/about-conference/themes/ (7) Legal framework for energy-efficient renovation. Minior better managed throughout Europe to Guide no.2 / nov.2011, URBACT CASH Network (Cities building-energy-efficiency-in-european-citiesexpedite the process of scaling up retrofitting Action for Sustainable Housing)