This document shows the results of a survey conducted by the European Union Horizon 2020 ENSMOV project partners on the effects of COVID 19 on energy efficiency policies, market and energy end-use and the inputs from the stakeholders in the dedicated workshop. Therefore, represents a case study on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the Article 7 EED implementation in Europe.
The main conclusions are:
The energy efficiency market has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, significantly reducing the investments in energy efficiency projects, but this was, based on the opinions of key stakeholders, very much constrained to the period of 1st and 2nd quarter of 2020.
Private consumers, like households, have reduced the investments in refurbishment and investment plans, but are positive for the future.
Most achieved savings could be attributed to the reduction in consumption due to general financial savings and are not related to energy efficiency investments or long-term behavioural changes. Therefore, the rebound effect of energy consumption could be a concern.
National authorities tried to follow up on the situation, but most of their efforts is linked to the period that is coming after the crisis is expected to abate (so the three-year short-term planning for the Recovery Package funding). All actors are optimistic that the investments and projects will be as before crisis in maximum 2-4 years, some of them stating that their data shows investments are already back to the baseline level.
Since the consumption is shifting towards the household sector and the fact that the policies defining emissions and energy consumption in buildings are changing, this also is a challenge for all the included stakeholders.
The most important take-outs from the survey and the workshop are that the sector is strongly reliant on the policies’ implementation and the security it provides to all the actors – trough the governmental support for the measures and the investments.
Also, the most relevant concern, besides the rebound of consumption, seems to be that when the sector and investments rebound, the labour market will not follow. The lack of a specific workforce might be a crucial obstacle for investments.