Every house in Flanders to be energy efficient by 2050

Summary

Within 35 years, every house and apartment in Flanders should be as energy efficient as new houses are now, according to three ministers, who are working on new policies for the housing sector

Renovations on the agenda

The government of Flanders and the construction sector are joining forces to make all houses in the region energy efficient by 2050. This bold ambition was announced yesterday by energy minister Annemie Turtelboom, housing minister Liesbeth Homans and environment minister Joke Schauvliege. The plan is part of the so-called Renovation Pact.

More than half of the houses in Flanders were built before 1970 and many have no roof insulation or double glazing. This leads to a huge energy loss, according to the ministers. The government has already introduced several subsidies for homeowners implementing energy-saving measures.

Now the goal is to make every house or apartment just as energy efficient as one that is built today. Technically, that means the home must be inspected and given an E60 score. Thorough renovations will be necessary to achieve this goal, as old houses often consume more than half of the energy needed for new builds.

The ministers plan to reform the policy of energy premiums and subsidies. There will also be a new help tool introduced – a sort of manual for homeowners regarding the most effective renovations for energy efficiency. New homeowners will receive a step-by-step plan to energy-saving renovations.

According to the ministers, it’s important that the building sector support the new pact. More than 30 organisations have agreed to support it, according to minister Turtelboom.

Photo: Turtelboom speaking at the Renovatiepact launch event last December
© Goverment of Flanders

Sustainable energy

The five main renewable energy sources in Flanders are biomass, biogas, wind energy, solar energy and water power. The renewable energy sector has grown sharply in recent years, with wind and solar energy production especially on the rise.
Agency - The Flemish Energy Agency is responsible for implementing the government’s sustainable energy policies. Its central tasks are to promote rational energy use and environmentally friendly energy production.
Green energy certificates - One of the principal measures to promote sustainable energy are the certificates the Flemish energy regulator (Vreg) awards for electricity generated by renewable energy sources. Since the regulations were tightened in 2012, investments in renewable energy installations have declined.
Obstacles - According to the Flemish Energy Agency, the main challenges in local renewable energy production are the region’s short coast, limited height differences and direct sunlight, and high population density.
11

new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013

6 030

million kilowattage of green energy in 2012

6

percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012