Measures to shield households against the energy and climate crisis

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Analysis by The Green Tank and Facets examines 8 scenarios for the residential housing sector and 2 scenarios for the road transport sector and identifies the most efficient combinations of measures that will reduce both the carbon footprint and energy bills of households by 2030. The implementation of these measures can lead up to €1.6 billion annual economic benefits in 2030 for the Greek households, while also reducing emissions from both sectors by up to 7.1 million tonnes of CO2 in the same year.

The energy crisis has highlighted the need to accelerate the phase out fossil fuels, not only for the protection of the climate, but also for strictly economic reasons. Together with electricity production, the residential housing and road transport sectors are crucial to household finances. Given that as from 2027, the use of fossil fuels in these two sectors will be subject to additional costs due to the operation of the new European Emissions Trading System (ETS-2), the need for preventive measures to shield households becomes imperative.

For these reasons, The Green Tank and the consulting company Facets conducted an analysis using engineering models to identify the optimal mix of measures and policies that will minimize both the carbon footprint and energy costs of households. The analysis titled “Strategies for reducing the carbon footprint and tackling energy poverty in Greek households” examined eight (8) scenarios for the residential housing sector and two (2) for the road transport sector. For each of these scenarios the achievable reduction of the carbon footprint in the period 2023-2030, the amount of required investments and their economic efficiency were estimated. The latter was assessed on the basis of the so-called “annualized cost”, which, in addition to the cost of the initial investment, it also takes into account the economic benefits that households will derive from these investments over their lifetime.

For the residential housing sector, the main findings of the analysis can be summarised as follows:

  • The two most cost-effective scenarios combine behavioural changes and other low-cost measures (solar systems for hot water, efficient lighting, insulating single glazing, etc.), with the installation of heat pumps, photovoltaic panels to cover own electricity needs and shallow (scenario S2-PV) or deep (scenario S3-PV) energy upgrades. These scenarios have a net benefit for households, namely they show negative values of annualized expenditures between -€6 million and -€561 million in 2030, considering a wide range of values for parameters such as electricity costs and the discount rate, which were examined in the sensitivity analysis conducted.
  • The energy cost reductions from the implementation of the scenario based on shallow energy upgrades (S2-PV) would amount to €890 per year and per household in 2030, and for the scenario based on deep upgrades to €1370.
  • The total investment cost up to 2030 for the scenario involving shallow energy upgrades for 100,000 dwellings per year (S2-PV) is €22.7 billion, while for the scenario involving deep energy upgrades for 80,000 dwellings per year (S3-PV) it is €28.6 billion. Both of these values are at the same order of magnitude as the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) which amounts to €29.2 billion for the same period (€6.3 billion for upgrades and €22.9 billion for appliances). It should be noted, however, that a precise, detailed comparison with the NECP is not possible, as neither the exact measures nor the assumptions made in order to carry out the relevant NECP calculations are known.
  • The two scenarios would reduce the carbon footprint of the residential building stock by 5.6 million tonnes of CO2eq (S2-PV) and 72 million tonnes of CO2eq (S3-PV) in 2030, 57% and 58% less than 2022 emissions, respectively.

For the road transport sector:

  • The base scenario (T1), which is similar to the NECP and targets an 18.5% share of electric cars in the total passenger car fleet in 2030, achieves a 30% emission reduction compared to 2022 (630 Kt CO2eq) with a significant total investment cost of €22.9 billion for the whole period 2023-2030.
  • The implementation of measures such as the reduction of speed limits on motorways, soft mobility, carpooling and teleworking, which are not emphasised in the NECP, increase investments by only €28 million over the same period compared to the base scenario, but lead to very significant additional annual reductions in both carbon footprint (812-822 Kt CO2eq) and household energy costs (€514-710 million). The simultaneous implementation of these measures together with those for the development of electromobility (scenario T2) would reduce the corresponding annual household costs by €810 million to €1.070 billion and annual CO2 emissions by up to 44 million tonnes CO2eq in 2030.

The implementation of strong policies to reduce the carbon footprint of households through the energy upgrade of residential buildings, the installation of residential solar PV systems, the use of more efficient appliances and the change of energy behaviours both at home and in passengers’ transport overall, will contribute decisively not only to achieving climate targets, but also to meeting broader social needs such as fighting energy poverty, improving public health and enhancing energy security”, said Dimitri Lalas, Consultant, Facets

The State should provide the incentives and resources for the immediate implementation of measures that will finally shield households from the volatility of energy prices, while protecting the climate. This will also allow for more ambitious targets for the buildings and road transport sectors in the final text of the National Energy and Climate Plan,” said Nikos Mantzaris, policy analyst, The Green Tank.

You can find the full report in this link.