Citizen Hubs are catalysing the European Renovation Wave
2 min read

Citizen Hubs are catalysing the European Renovation Wave

The unprecedented shocks and stresses of the past three years have put the importance of our homes in the spotlight: energy efficient homes can protect vulnerable groups from energy price shocks and provide healthy and comfortable living environments.

The centrality of energy renovations, to enhance energy security and reach climate goals, is being recognised at all levels of governance. Amongst others, the European Green Deal, which calls for a Renovation Wave in Europe, recent revisions to key Directives such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the inclusion of the construction sector in the European Emissions Trading Scheme are a testament to the EU’s commitment to operationalising the “Energy Efficiency First” principle and accelerating the decarbonisation of the built environment. At a national level, Member States have been drawing up and operationalising Long-Term Renovation Strategies since 2014, endeavouring to create enabling conditions for the significant increase in deep renovation rates.

Against the backdrop of much-needed overarching goals, policies and initiatives, it is important to note that actual on-the-ground energy renovation takes place at the local level. A highly promising approach in the renovation domain is the establishment of One-Stop-Shops (OSS) - or Citizen Hubs - in cities and regions, which serve to:

  • raise the awareness of local populations about the benefits of energy renovations
  • provide homeowners with practical guidance on renovation options
  • access financing and subsidy schemes
  • connect customers with qualified contractors

Within the Horizon 2020 project Save the Homes, ICLEI is helping Member Cities Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Valencia(Spain) establish and operate Citizen Hubs, while contributing to replication guidelines and other useful resources. Building on the project’s learnings, ICLEI Europe is co-organising three national workshops to share knowledge and open a discussion amongst local government representatives. The first workshop will take place on 18 May in ICLEI Member City Ljubljana (Slovenia), where replication is currently being tested. A limited number of open spaces are available for (Slovenian-speaking) local government representatives to join the workshop. More information (including the agenda and registration form) is available on the Slovenian workshop event page.

Information on the two upcoming workshops in Spain and the Netherlands will be made available soon.

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