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WIREs Energy Environ.
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How to finance energy renovation of residential buildings: Review of current and emerging financing instruments in the EU

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Abstract The Paris Agreement goals require net‐zero CO2 emissions by mid‐century. The European Commission in its recent proposal for climate and energy strategy for 2050 indicated the need for more intensified actions to substantially improve the energy performances of buildings. With the rate of new construction in Europe, the challenge is to increase both the pace and depth of building energy renovations. Several barriers inhibit the wide uptake of comprehensive energy renovations, including the inability or inertia to finance upfront costs of energy renovations. Despite various policies implemented to address some of these barriers, current investments in buildings remain at suboptimal levels. The paper reviews current financing practices for energy renovations and investigates some innovative instruments with a special focus on their applicability to residential buildings. In addition to “traditional” financial schemes such as subsidies, tax incentives, and loans, the paper assesses innovative financing schemes: On property tax and on‐bill financing, energy efficiency mortgages, and energy efficiency feed‐in tariffs. The paper also investigates the concept of one‐stop shops for building renovations and crowdfunding. The paper offers an assessment of the characteristics, benefits, and challenges of each analyzed financing instrument and provides policy recommendations for their successful implementation. In general, as financing instruments involve different stakeholders and due to complex nature of the sector, there is no single solution to accelerate energy renovation investment in buildings. The emerging financial models offer the potential to address the long‐standing barriers to investment in energy efficiency. This article is categorized under: Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy Energy Efficiency > Climate and Environment Energy and Climate > Economics and Policy
Overview of current financial instruments supporting energy renovations in the EU classified according to market saturation (traditional, growing and new) and type (non‐repayable reward, debt financing, and equity financing)
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Conceptual differences between Energy Efficiency Obligation and Feed‐In Tariff schemes (Green Alliance: Benton, 2011)
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Schematic diagram illustrating the underlying principles of (a) EPC and (b) ESA models (Economidou & Bertoldi, 2014)
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Summary of key characteristics of financial instruments for energy renovations in buildings
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Energy and Climate > Economics and Policy
Energy Efficiency > Climate and Environment
Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy

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