Multi-Family buildings

New initiative to address energy poverty in central and eastern Europe

BRUSSELS, 10 April, 2024 – A new project has launched to respond to sluggish renovation rates of residential buildings and high energy poverty levels in Central and Eastern Europe by empowering local communities and developing Neighourhood Energy Sufficiency Roadmaps.

Funded by the European Union’s LIFE Programme, ComActivate will develop, demonstrate and advocate solutions for multi-family apartment buildings that reduce energy poverty, enhance energy security, and bring building emissions in line with climate targets.

The project comes at a critical time as energy poverty affects a significant share of the population across the EU: In 2022, 41 million EU citizens (9.3% of the population) couldn’t afford proper heating due to a cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy costs. Countries located in Central and Eastern Europe are particularly affected: In Bulgaria, 22.5% of the population could not keep their home adequately warm. ComActivate will be implemented in three municipalities across Bulgaria, Hungary, and Lithuania, each facing unique climatic challenges but sharing common characteristics rooted in their Socialist history and housing privatization in the 1990s.

Key components of the ComActivate project

“ComActivate represents a vital step towards creating more sustainable and resilient communities in the face of escalating energy poverty and climate change,” says Zuzana Matusova, Project Leader at Nadacia Habitat for Humanity International. “By focusing on Multi-Family Apartment Buildings – where around 60% of people in CEE reside – we aim to develop comprehensive solutions that not only improve energy sufficiency and alleviate poverty, but also ensure a better quality of life for all.”

“Addressing energy efficiency in residential buildings is not only about cutting energy bills, but also about improving the health and comfort of residents who deserve to live in decent buildings” says Dóra Zágoni, ComActivate partner and Energy referent for Józsefváros district, Budapest.

“ComActivate is instrumental in tackling the major barriers hindering the accelerated refurbishment of residential buildings in Central and Eastern Europe.  In Józsefváros, the majority of residential buildings are facing serious energy efficiency problems due to decades of insufficient financing, with residents often affected by energy poverty. We hope that the project will provide an opportunity to build momentum and encourage energy renovations”.

About ComActivate

ComActivate responds to growing levels of energy poverty across the EU, especially in the CEE region, by addressing the poor energy efficiency of buildings as a major driver of energy poverty, and as a driver of climate change. The project aims to ensure the energy sufficiency of vulnerable people living in multi-family apartment buildings in Central and Eastern Europe by developing best practices for clean energy production, consumption and efficiency measures at neighbourhood level. Partners will work over the next 3 years with three local municipalities to test the approach and replicate best practices from ComActivate in other regions.

About BPIE

BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) is a leading independent centre of expertise on energy performance of buildings, providing data-driven and actionable policy analysis, advice, and implementation support to decision-makers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Founded in 2010, BPIE combines expertise on energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and health and indoor environment with a deep understanding of EU policies and processes. A not-for-profit think-tank based in Brussels and Berlin, our mission is to make an affordable, climate-neutral built environment a reality in Europe and globally.