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New survey shows high support in Europe for energy efficient homes


A survey conducted by YouGov in four European countries finds extensive public support for new regulations to increase energy savings in homes.

Commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, this polling reveals that people in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain want to buy and rent energy-efficient homes.

The survey enquired people in four European countries looking to rent or buy a property in the next five years. Data shows that not only renters and homeowners value energy-efficient properties because they cut energy bills and they are better for the environment, but both agreed on the need for a regulation aimed at reducing the impact of buildings on climate change.

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Some of the highlights from the survey include

  • 89% of respondents said that it is overall important for them to buy or rent a property that is energy efficient.
  • Yet, the current housing stock isn’t meeting this demand, with 64% of people saying that there aren’t enough energy-efficient properties available on the market.
  • Survey respondents who rated that it was important having an energy-efficient home said it was because “it reduces energy bills” (50%) and “it is better for the environment” (40%);
  • 72% said they would support a policy that required all newly built homes to be well insulated and with clean heating systems (i.e. not powered by fossil fuels or unstainable biomass).
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that they would support a law that requires existing homes to meet minimum energy standards, with subsidies for affordable improvements standing out as the top incentive that would help citizens deliver on this policy. Support was highest in Spain (75%) and Italy (72%).
  • The respondents who indicated support said this because the policy will reduce exposure to high energy prices (60%) and help combat climate change (59%);
  • 85% said that Energy Performance Certificates – a rating system for the energy efficiency of the home – are useful.

The survey was released just a few weeks after the EU proposed a new regulation to curb greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. The proposal introduces the requirement that around 60 million buildings with the lowest energy rating (F or G) will need to be upgraded by 2033.

Furthermore, the Commission also proposed that new buildings need to be zero emissions by 2030, meaning well insulated and powered by renewables. The European Parliament and EU national governments will start negotiations on the text soon before it becomes law.

According to the EU, there is over EUR 150 billion of financing available to national governments – including through EU post-pandemic recovery cash –  to renovate buildings, especially for low-income families and those living in energy poverty.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 8142 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th November – 1st December 2021. The survey was carried out online.

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