[19.08.21] Report: What Prevents Energy Efficiency Policy Implementation in the European Private Rented Sector?

The European private rented sector has been a blind spot until now, when identifying barriers and finding solutions to overcome long-lasting problems for energy vulnerability and energy poverty. For the first time, a unique set of stakeholders comes together to analyse the problems and suggest solutions in the ENPOR Publication: Structural Factors Impacting Energy Efficiency Policy Implementation in the European Private Rented Sector.

Housing and the residential sector are the second largest energy-consuming category in Europe, with 26.7% of total energy consumption, and are responsible for around 8.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. As much as 75% of the EU’s building stock is inefficient, and only 1% is renovated per year. Renovating and improving the energy efficiency of buildings could reduce the EU’s CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 5%. A well-managed PRS is important in maintaining a supply of housing and providing an alternative to homeownership. However, the PRS became increasingly residualised in many countries due to policies that favoured home-owning in the latter half of the 20th century. The PRS has now become increasingly viewed by many EU states as a crucial element in housing provision, moving in policy and society from a transitional sector, to providing long-term alternatives to social housing and home-ownership for a broader gamut of society.  

The authors identify the structural elements that underpin efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the private rented sector in Europe. Based on the combination of expert assessments, a desk research review and a questionnaire survey, the authors bring together multiple strands of knowledge from a variety of sectors. They identify the complex barriers in the path of energy efficiency investment in this part of the housing stock, as well as the integrated solutions that can help address them. Examples of good practices across Europe highlight how successful initiatives to reduce energy poverty go hand in hand with wider interventions in how energy and housing are lived, experienced and regulated. In practice, this necessitates direct engagement with relevant housing residents, institutional stakeholders, and landlords.

To read the entire study including the analysis of the barriers and the solutions suggested, download the document.