by the VELUX Group

In his introduction, Maroš Šefčovič (Vice-President, Energy Union European Commission) mentions that The Healthy Homes Barometer 2017 reminds us that buildings are intended to create a healthy home for citizens. But it is alarming to read that one out of six Europeans reports living in an unhealthy building.

The Barometer also shows that improvement of the building stock through renovation can have a major impact on our health and well-being, and it offers solutions to some of our most important societal and climate issues.

Renovation is the key

Renovation of the existing building stock is key if the EU is to succeed in its climate and energy objectives. Here, the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ principle is an important means to success.

Increasing the renovation rate will also bring other benefits, by bolstering the construction sector and thereby creating growth and local jobs. Buildings with a good indoor environment can reduce healthcare costs and are a way to tackle energy poverty. This is also recognised in the European Commission’s proposal for a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. It is striking, yet perhaps not unexpected, that twice as many people have poor health when living in energy poverty compared to those who enjoy proper conditions. This further reaffirms the importance of tackling energy poverty through building renovations.

Boost private investments

Barriers to renovation do exist, as is highlighted in this report. For example, homeowners often do not undertake renovations, either because they lack awareness or because they have financial constraints. This implies that although there is a large amount of public funds available for energy efficiency, there is also a need to boost the incentives for private investments in order to reach our climate objectives and improve the quality of citizens’ lives across Europe.

Click here to download the Healthy Home Barometer 2017.