Project that shows on-bill financing schemes boost residential energy renovations wins EU Sustainable Energy Award
RenOnBill recognised by European Commission for bringing financial institutions and utilities together to increase renovation uptake
Today, RenOnBill was awarded the prestigious Citizens' Award at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, was on hand to congratulate the winners at the online awards ceremony which kicked off Day 1 of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).
Commissioner Simson praised all five EUSEW Award winners commenting, "The projects and individuals that are being recognised today are not only leaders in transforming Europe’s energy landscape, they are role models. Their work is a testament to the importance of citizen engagement in making the European Green Deal a reality. We've been working hard to develop policy instruments, which guide and support action on the ground, and it is truly inspiring to see this vision at work. Together, we are bringing Europe closer to its climate goals.“
RenOnBill is a Horizon 2020 project based in Spain with a successful pilot site already underway in Italy.
“Together with financial institutions, utility companies cover the initial investment of a building renovation. The resulting savings that homeowners eventually see on their energy bills is used to pay back the utility, appearing as a line item on the customer’s energy bills,” explains Paolo Michele Sonvilla, RenOnBill Project Coordinator from Creara, Spain. “On-bill financing can reduce the upfront costs of energy renovations to zero.”
On-bill schemes are widespread in North America, and RenOnBill now aims to assess the replicability of such schemes across Europe, starting with pilot initiatives in Italy, Lithuania and Spain.
“Energy consumption can easily be reduced by 25-30% on average,” says Andrea Favalessa of Italy's Blueenergy Group SpA when discussing the effectiveness of renovations in reducing CO2 emissions. “In Italy, we are currently working on 100 buildings. The main measures we use are adding or improving insulation and renewing heating systems. This has a huge potential to reduce energy consumption in Europe’s existing building stock.”
A renovation of this type typically takes about 3 months but the benefit of increased comfort and lower energy costs remain with the owners and residents for decades. This market instrument allows renovations to take place quickly and at no extra cost, and are paid back over a number of years, eliminating financial barriers to renovation.
Following European building renovation objectives, the project team looks at all the ways to save energy in buildings and brings financial institutions and utility companies together. Business model guidelines for on-bill schemes, which could extend the replicability of the project, are also one of the main results of the project that will soon be published.
The project contributes to the EU’s Renovation Wave Strategy that sets out to at least double renovation rates in the next ten years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency. Initiatives such as this one are bringing the EU closer to the 2030 targets.
The six projects competing in the Engagement and Innovation categories were up for consideration for this award, which recognises initiatives and individuals working on innovative and engaging ways to reinvent Europe’s energy landscape.
About the EUSEW Awards
Twelve outstanding individuals and projects are highlighted at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2021 for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Finalists were chosen from a list of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. The awards have four categories - Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy and Young Energy Trailblazer – as well as the Citizen’s Award. Prizes were awarded by an expert jury (for Engagement and Innovation), and by citizens via a public vote.
EUSEW 2021 runs from 25 to 29 October 2021, under the theme ‘Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System’. Taking place ahead of the decisive COP 26, the event brings together energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia and civil society representatives to discuss how forward-looking policies for decarbonisation, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and many others comprising the European Green Deal, can help rebuild a better and more resilient society and economy.
There is still time to attend EUSEW 2021! With more opportunities than ever to connect, engage, network and reflect on the biggest issues in clean energy in Europe and beyond. Media and participants can access the online event until 29 October.
For interview requests with the EUSEW 2021 Award winners, please contact [email protected]