Ready for the Wave? Overlooked aspects of the Renovation Wave Initiative
While the Renovation Wave includes many promising initiatives and shows forward-looking thinking on the part of the Commission, many details are still unclear and significant gaps remain. In particular, legislation on building circularity and life-cycle approaches should not be postponed to after 2023. Also, fighting energy poverty should be an integral aspect of EU policy design, particularly regarding current plans to adopt a carbon price for heating and transport. The design of compensation mechanisms for low income households facing rising heating expenses should not be left to Member States. Kickstarting a sustainable heating transition requires much broader changes than the Renovation Wave foresees as the current regulatory framework offers numerous advantages to fossil heating. In this background paper, Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe, DUH) highlights three areas of the Renovation Wave initiative that have received comparatively little attention but are nevertheless crucial to the overall success of the initiative: Circular buildings and life-cycle approaches, kickstarting a sustainable heating transition and the social dimension of energy renovation.