Building stock is responsible for around 40% of the energy consumption and 40% of the CO2 emissions in a city. Considering the obsolescence of existing building stock at European level, the energy (in)efficiency of buildings is a major challenge for energy savings and climate targets, and a great opportunity for local economies. Deep Retrofit solutions could serve as a solution to addressing environmental and energy needs.
European Directives 2018/2001 (RED-II) and 944/944 paves the way to respectively Renewable Energy Communities (REC) and Citizen Energy Communities (CEC), putting the citizen (as prosumer/user) at the centre of Energy Transition.
In Italy the early adoption of RED-II Directive in February 2020 made RECs possible, and relevant incentives are available on self-consumed energy (110 €/MWh). These incentives are cumulative with a series of fiscal bonuses for building retrofit, creating a “boosting factor” that is pushing urban renovation.
What is happening in Italy will happen in other European Countries, and Italy in the 2023-2025 timeframe represents a pilot context whose expertise can be effectively replicated at EU level, combining REC and building retrofit.
The key is the electrification of thermal loads (i.e. electric heating and cooling), making the retrofitted buildings “smart” and enabling their role as node of the REC at urban and metropolitan scale.
One promising area of opportunity for Deep Retrofit is the heating and cooling sector. Also eMobility will be strongly affected by Deep Retrofit and RECs, since the cars will play a role both as “electric loads” and as “distributed electric storage capacity”.
Deep Retrofitting focus group will support the design and implementation of new sustainable approaches to building retrofitting, based on the electrification of thermal loads and the use of innovative business models based on REC: making thermal load electric towards energy self-consumption. The aim of the focus group is to enable the electrification of heating and cooling in existing buildings, making them operate as nodes of RECs. The focus group will explore existing business models and best practice examples, map barriers and jointly seek for solutions to overcome these, plan workshops and potential study visits as well as provide recommendations for electrification of thermal loads.
Chair of the Deep Retrofitting Focus Group
Mr. Sergio Olivero
Energy Center of the Politecnico di Torino, Italy