30th August 2021

Renovating or building a new house? This is what you should know

Home sweet home. Julien Solvi, general manager of energieagence, tells us how we can make our households more energy-efficient and gives us his five energy-saving tips.

1. What are the national targets for climate and energy?

The Paris agreement, adopted unanimously on December 12, 2015, is at the core of climate action. It aims to keep global warming well below 2-degrees C and to continue efforts to limit it to 1,5-degrees C. To attain this objective, the European Union has set ambitious goals for climate and energy in the 2030 framework and each EU member has developed a national energy and climate plan based on governance regulations established by the European Union.

As part of its national energy and climate plan, Luxembourg aims to cut C02 emissions by 55% (compared to 2005), increase the use of renewable energies of the energy consumption to 25%, and improve energy efficiency between 40%-44%.

2. How does energy efficiency in buildings compare to initiatives at the national level?

A key element of meeting those targets is improving energy efficiency of buildings. Over the past decade, Luxembourg has made continuous improvements in terms of energy efficiency requirements for new buildings and has already achieved a high standard with almost zero energy consumption.

Several initiatives have been implemented in Luxembourg to improve the existing building base, including investment aids for renovations (through PRIMeHouse grants) or low-interest loans.

In addition, there are private incentives such as enoprimes or the Fonds Nova Naturstroum, which provide subsidies for renovation work and/or sustainable technologies, and thus promote sustainable building.

3. What are the most energy-efficient renovations on older houses that are currently subsidized and save the most money?

The grants include insulation for roofs and façade, which reduces the building’s specific heating needs, and renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels, heat pumps, and wood pellet systems. Energy savings depend on the specific situation, but generally insulation works and replacing old heating systems lead to the highest savings.

4. What is your recommendation before renovating a house?

The first step in renovating a house is to consult an expert to obtain a comprehensive analysis of the building’s saving potential in order to identify the measures with the greatest impact, as well as the interdependencies between different measures. Everyone can use this information to prioritize their renovation work and define their timeline for implementation based on their individual situation.

Prior to starting renovation work, one should be aware of all subsidy schemes that may apply, know how to take advantage of them and budget finances for the renovation accordingly.

5. Do you have any sustainability tips related to energy savings within buildings?

5 tips for saving energy in buildings

Some savings can be achieved with little investment, e.g.

1. optimizing the steering of heating systems

2. balancing the hydraulic systems (to optimize the distribution of water in the heating system).

     

Changing some of our own behavior can also help to save energy, for instance:

3. lowering the heating temperature

4. turning off lights when leaving the room

5. not leaving the windows open for an extended period of time while heating

About the blog:

 
There is an urgent need for rapid transition to Global Environmental Sustainability. Thanks to changemakers, progress is possible. "Why does it matter?" is a bi-monthly series that takes a quick look at the forefront of today's trends around  sustainability. From May 2021 on, we aim to elucidate this important topic through the eyes of our experts. 

 
Your contribution counts too! From June on, don't miss out our experts' practical tips for your daily life.