Buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption, creating huge potential for savings through improved energy efficiency in the sector. However, there is widespread consensus that the energy-saving potential of buildings is not being met, and that this is not due to a lack of technological solutions but rather institutional, organisational and financial barriers. Many of these problems arise from the insufficient adaption of traditional business models to energy efficient building projects, where a higher upfront cost may produce a return in the form of energy savings which is spread over the lifetime of a building. The development of novel business models, which incorporate a life-cycle perspective and spread risk (and rewards) between the different stakeholders has the potential to overcome some of these difficulties and incentivise energy efficient building activity. Based on research undertaken as part of the UMBRELLA (FP7) and NewTREND (H2020) projects, including interviews with over 100 stakeholders involved in energy efficient building projects from 11 European countries, this paper will offer a framework for developing new business models capable of incentivising EeB activity. It will suggest there is a need to reconceptualise what is meant by building performance and to reconfigure the ways in which the different dimensions of value created by a building project are assessed by the market if we are to incorporate a lifecycle perspective in building and incentivise EeB. Finally, it will outline some implications for policymakers who wish to realise the huge potential of EeB to help achieve Europe’s energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets.