Visegrad countries must maximise a historic opportunity to transform their neglected buildings through energy efficient renovation and help rescue the 20% of the population that endure a vicious cycle of social misery, says a new report[1].

Drawn up by V4 experts at the C4E Forum – Central and Eastern Europe´s leading energy efficiency policy platform – the report calls for ambitious policies to drive forward a visionary energy-efficiency programme for the two-thirds of Visegrad buildings that are in desperate need of renovation.

Expert consortium representative Peter Robl said: “All V4 countries will have to implement policies to save energy to meet mandatory targets set by the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This is an historic opportunity for all Visegrad policymakers to join forces and put renovation at the heart of everything they do to achieve these targets.”

Two-thirds of the built environment in the Visegrad region is in urgent need of renovating and for those who live and work in these buildings there are often appalling social consequences.

In Slovakia, for example, people pay the highest energy bills per income in the European Union and there are 3,000 premature deaths annually due to air pollution caused by heating with solid fuels[2]. The country also suffers from up to 2.9 times more frequent health issues[3] than other EU citizens as a result of unsatisfactory housing.

Across Visegrad buildings are costing up to €11.2 billion in health care every year[4].

Peter Robl added: “One in five people in the Visegrad region suffers from a vicious cycle of fuel poverty, social inequality and a lack of opportunity to improve compounded by poor housing and poor health. We can no longer ignore the needs of these people. We must act now with housing renovation a major first step.”

The C4E Forum report was drawn up by experts from Buildings for the Future in Slovakia, the Hungarian Energy Efficiency Institute, Chance for Buildings in the Czech Republic and Poland’s National Energy Efficiency Agency.

Among suggested changes the report calls for improved enforcement of Energy Performance Certificate regulation; ambitious measures to unlock regional EU funding and rethinking social housing policies to focus on renovation improvements particularly air pollution caused by building heating.

For further details download a copy of the forum’s executive Visegrad Countries Yet To Unlock the Development Potential of Buildings or contact Peter Robl on

  • The Central and Eastern European Energy Efficiency Forum (C4E Forum) is a joint initiative of representatives the Czech Green Building Council, the European Climate Foundation and Chance for Buildings. At its June 2018 edition, it brought together more than 200 representatives from national governments, businesses, NGOs and green building organisations to rethink public policies in the field of energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings.

[1] Report executive summary

[2] European Environmental Agency

[3] Healthy Home Barometer

[4] Calculations based on Copenhagen Economics´ Multiple Benefits Of Investing In Energy Efficient Renovation Of Buildings