News

Making buildings more energy efficient could break our addiction to gas
By Knauf Australia on May 09, 2014

Europe’s addiction to gas is becoming dangerously unhealthy as the crisis in the Ukraine continues to escalate.

Europe’s addiction to gas is becoming dangerously unhealthy as the crisis in the Ukraine continues to escalate.

21 out of the EU’s 28 Member States are dependent on gas imports and European leaders are so concerned about the situation that they have demanded an urgent European Commission plan to reduce energy dependence. The plan is expected in June.

“Europe is acknowledging the dangers of its addiction to gas, but like all addicts we have to also acknowledge that the source of the problem is at home and not abroad,” says Barry Lynham, Group Director of Strategy and Communication for Knauf Insulation. “We have to accept that the problem is our lack of action to seize the potential from energy efficiency and that the cure, a massive drive to improve energy efficiency, is a decision that lies completely in our own hands.”

Knauf Insulation argues that energy efficiency and in particular specific legislation to deliver mass building renovation, must be the main pillar of the EU's response to the current energy crisis.

According to the latest figures from Eurostat, Europe imports 4,101 TJ of gas from Russia every year – almost the same amount of gas that is used every year by Europe’s buildings.

"Making buildings more energy efficient would not only break our addiction to gas but also put cash back in the pockets of Europeans rather than into foreign sovereign wealth funds", says Lynham.

Research by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe reveals that even an 80% renovation level in Europe’s building sector would achieve 900 terawatt-hours of gas savings every year and keep hundreds of billions of euro from being off-shored.

“It’s not rocket science but it may be one of the most critical generational challenges facing Europe. We have the choice to take action now in buildings, removing our gas addiction or continue to do nothing and pass our addiction on to future generations,” says Lynham.