Discussion round

A point made by a stakeholder was to consider the owners at the centre of the building renovation passport, as they are the ones who demand the building renovation. Indeed, as is also shown by the feedback received from the experience in Germany, the starting point for the building renovation passport should be that the renovation measures are adapted to the homeowners needs. The auditor has a very critical role to play in this, defining how to best meet the specific owners needs and create demand for the building renovation passport. The auditor should design an instrument that is good enough to alleviate barriers without compromising the homeowners needs.

The framework itself does not need to be rigid, but needs to include guidance on how to use the building renovation passport, what are the starting points/objectives, etc. There seems to be an interesting opportunity for enlarging the scope of EPCs by illustrating reasons for renovation to increase the conversion rate with triggers that go beyond energy savings. The French experience reiterates that a EU framework is an instrument well understood, which re-enforces the confidence of owners into the building renovation passport.

As shown by the discussion, indoor environmental quality remains in the top list of triggers for renovation and needs to be integrated into the scheme. There is already a lot of research ongoing in that direction and in particular in H2020 projects. Then, the next step will be in making the scheme future proof by considering and integrating also climate change aspects.

In the meantime, a fundamental condition for the success of the building renovation passport is to ensure the perceived and actual quality of both EPCs and the building renovation passport. The level of trust in the EPC schemes currently varies from country to country. Additional training will be necessary to cater for changing requirements and to improve quality but is not the only measure required. At EU level, the Commission has been working in improving the quality of EPC schemes through several ongoing initiatives, among which the Committee of the Directive and the Concerted Action EPBD. Evidence shows that the quality and trust in the EPCs is improving. Among others, there seems to be a clear, data supported, link between energy efficiency and property price, showing improved trust in the EPCs.

Still, the inspectors’ qualifications for the building renovation passport will be more demanding that those for the EPC. This is considered by some stakeholders an opportunity for improvement. The building renovation passport should be seen by building owners as a tool complementary to the EPC, that aims to guide them in their decision making, rather than being another mandatory instrument.

Some other points raised by stakeholders concerned the potential of linking the building renovation passport to one-stop-shops for building renovation and its potential for multi-apartment buildings.

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