Commissioner Piebalgs and European energy ministers have committed to fully exploiting existing EU legislation on energy efficiency in buildings. According to insulation manufacturers, �270 billion euro a year can be saved.

According to a fresh report by the European Insulation Manufacturers Association (EURIMA), a renewed, concerted effort to cut energy use in buildings across the EU 25 would save Europeans about 270 billion euro a year.

The insulation industry federation used the cartoon character Bob the Builder to raise European leaders’ awareness of the need to properly implement the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) adopted in 2002. They call for an extension of the Directive to residential buildings smaller than 1000 square meters, which currently fall outside the scope of the EU law.

EURIMA estimates that these smaller buildings represent 90% of the potential energy, CO2 and cost savings in the residential sector.

Energy Commissioner Piebalgs ensured the insulation manufacturers about the EU capacity to take up the challenge, saying the Commission will be discussing the issue with Energy Ministers. An extended Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings could lead to CO2 emission reduction of 460 million tones per year by 2032; more than the EU’s total Kyoto commitment, and create 530,000 full time jobs in house renovations across the EU 25, the EURIMA report points out.

However, the report does not make suggestions as to how the renovations are to be financed.