ENERGY EFFICIENCY

THE CHALLENGE

Renovating housing to improve people's well-being
and address the climate crisis

Buildings consume one third of our country's energy and are responsible for 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the climate crisis.

It is not surprising: in Europe more than 70% of buildings are energy inefficient. That is, they waste energy by letting it escape because of inadequate design or materials.

But the energy inefficiency of our homes is not only costing the planet, but also our wallets. Almost 14% of the population of the Canary Islands suffered disproportionate energy costs in 2019.Even after making adjustments to the calculations due to the mildness of our climate.

For years, experts have been warning that the energy efficiency standards and criteria for buildings in the Canary Islands suffer from a serious bias that prevents them from addressing energy poverty, comfort and healthiness of homes in our outermost territory.

This is because the current regulations regarding the energy efficiency of buildings come from Europe and provide specifications that do not correspond to the climate of the archipelago, but focus the concept of energy efficiency on the accumulation of heat and therefore force us to invest, for example, in unnecessary levels of insulation.

Neither the Spanish nor the Canary Islands government has considered this problem when adapting the very flexible European guidelines to the different territories of the State. This must change if the Canary Islands are to move towards decarbonisation and sustainability, as well as greater well-being for households. In this article published in elDiario.es We set out the problem.

THE SOLUTION

The Canary Islands must have its own
energy efficiency standard

It is necessary to correct the bias established by the Technical Building Code, and by the Energy Certification procedure, in order to stop encouraging false solutions such as air conditioning equipment, and instead promote sustainable strategies such as air conditioning by passive means. The Canary Islands must have its own energy efficiency standard.

As well as being necessary, it is urgent to make these changes before the so-called 'rehabilitation wave' kicks in, driven by the recovery, transformation and resilience funds for the rehabilitation of housing and buildings throughout Spain. We are talking about 6.82 billion euros, of which the Canary Islands could receive 10%.

From Canarias Archipiélago Sostenible we want to put pressure on the institutions to give visibility to the issue. a problem that has been ignored for too long and with important consequences for our capacity to tackle climate change and social welfare.

Canarias Archipiélago Sostenible is part of the Alianza por la rehabilitación de viviendas sin dejar a nadie atrás, which brings together environmental, social, family, academic and research organisations, public housing managers and trade unions to advocate for the need to accelerate housing rehabilitation and urban regeneration, prioritising access for people in vulnerable situations. The studies carried out by the members of this alliance show that housing rehabilitation is one of the most effective solutions to tackle climate change, energy poverty and guarantee decent housing.
We work to ensure that housing rehabilitation is carried out in our country in an inclusive, fair and comprehensive manner.

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