European fund puts €90bn into building retrofits

Almost €90 billion is being invested in making the EU’s buildings more energy efficient under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which gets under way this autumn.

EFSI is intended to help energy projects access long term financing, mobilising €315bn of investment in total. Investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and strategic infrastructure projects will be a key priority, the European Commission recognising that the energy efficiency sector has suffered from chronic underinvestment.

Nine projects have already been approved, including a programme of regional and local initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of private housing in France. The French programme will tackle more than 40,000 homes, improving insulation, heating systems and ventilation.

Miguel Arias Cañete, climate action and energy commissioner said: “By 2030, we must improve our energy efficiency by at least 27%. And hopefully more, as I will work hard to go beyond the ‘at least 27% figure’. But for that to happen we need to boost energy efficiency investment in Europe. EFSI can be a driver to plug the investment gap needed in Europe’s energy transition to become the world’s most energy-efficient economy. I’m very encouraged to see that the fund is already supporting strategic energy efficiency projects, and that many more low-carbon projects are in the approval pipeline.”

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