European Court of Auditors report about EU spending on energy efficiency in buildings

Dear members,

We would like to inform you about a report published by the European Court of Auditors, which looks at EU spending on energy efficiency in buildings via the European Regional Development and the Cohesion Fund.

The report examines five Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy (Puglia), Lithuania) and concludes that Member States are not directing EU funds for improving the energy efficiency of buildings towards projects with the greatest potential for energy savings (cost-effectiveness). In addition, the programmes do not encourage major renovations, because they tend to subsidise renovations regardless of the expected energy savings.

In view of these shortcomings, the European Court of Auditors makes the following recommendations:

Before approving programmes under cohesion policy funds, the European Commission should improve the planning and targeting of investments by assessing whether these:

are based on an analysis of the actions needed and promote the cost-effective use of EU funded grants taking into account the specific market conditions;
are aligned with the National Energy and Climate Plans and the national Long-Term Renovation Strategies;
define the estimated energy saving from the use of EU funds.

For the 2021-2027 funding period, the Commission should ensure that managing authorities improve project selection by using procedures that:

set minimum and/or maximum thresholds for key parameters (e.g. quantity of energy to be saved, minimum energy rating the building should achieve);
assess the relative costs and benefits of projects and select those delivering higher energy savings and other benefits at lower cost.

In order to make the performance framework more result-oriented, the Commission should:

provide information on the aggregate expenditure and amount of energy saved or other results generated by the investments;
define indicators for monitoring the cost-effectiveness of the investments; and
use these indicators when making decisions on allocating resources in the 2021-2027 funding period mid-term review.

The National Guild of Mastercraftsmen in Ireland sole representive member of the ECB .
The European Building Confederation

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