The Climate Economics Chair under the aegis of the Europlace Institute of Finance has partnered with Saint-Gobain Solutions France, Effy, the CSTB and EDF to launch the Building Renovation Economics Research Initiative (2022 – 2024). The EcoReBa research initiative aims to create new knowledge in the field of thermal renovation of residential housing. More specifically, it aims to assess the performance of energy efficiency improvements and the public policies aimed at promoting them.
Buildings are both large consumers of energy and large emitters of greenhouse gases in many developed countries. This is even more true in France, where the residential and tertiary sectors account for 46% of national energy consumption. Changing this situation in the short run requires large-scale energy renovation of the existing building stock. In the residential sector, the gap between the expected profitability of existing technical solutions and the low proportion of households that actually undertake them (known as the Energy Efficiency Gap) has led to a proliferation of public policies and instruments to support renovation. However, there is little ex-post evaluation of these energy renovation operations and public policies that meets academic standards. It is therefore difficult to assess the robustness of their conclusions and there is a strong need to multiply the methodological approaches and data sources. In France, the latest study in 2019 is no exception. While it points to the weakness of the induced reductions in energy consumption, it does not decide whether this is due to the absence of energy savings or to the compensation of these savings by a “rebound effect” on consumption. Faced with the economic, environmental and societal challenges, the public and private players in the building sector therefore feel the need to deepen and diversify their methodological studies through well-documented, transparent and replicable academic evaluation work. The EcoReBa research initiative pursues this approach.