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REgional process innovations FOR Building renovation packages opening markets to zero energy renovations

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - REFURB (REgional process innovations FOR Building renovation packages opening markets to zero energy renovations)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-03-31

The REFURB project focuses on renovations in the private housing sector. Increased energy efficiency in this very diverse sector and even more so for private homeowners is seriously lagging behind. More than sufficient technological solutions are available so the focus in this project is on removing non-technological barriers and bringing the supply side closer to the demand side. The main barriers in this market relate to fragmentation of the renovation offers, resulting in inefficient or only partial solutions. In addition to financial restrictions and unclear benefits, homeowners do not have a structured way to obtain all the necessary information related to renovation measures and they get lost along their journey towards a future-proof dream house, drop out and lose their interest in investing in their home.

A very promising concept to tackle this problem is the so-called one-stop-shop in which customers are unburdened and supported along this journey. Many one-stop-shop initiatives have already been put into practice. Some of these projects were successful, but several were not. They often lack an understanding of the concerns and demands of the homeowners. REFURB will tackle the complex interplay of these barriers through coordinated process organisation, innovation and optimization and offering concrete solutions or renovation packages that appeal to potential customers.
REFURB will bridge the gap between supply and demand side by:
• developing a holistic approach to the renovation process in which technology combinations trigger step-by-step deep energy renovations towards Near Zero Energy Building standards.
• accommodating the technology solutions to the decision-making psychology and ‘language’ of residential homeowners; this will provide the drivers for empowerment and mobilization of homeowners for deep renovation.
• developing a quality and performance protocol to build trust on the demand side.

The above mentioned activities will result in dedicated renovation packages for different market segments and regions in Europe, starting with the private residential sector. A small scale pilot will be carried out in order to validate and demonstrate the REFURB solution. This will be followed by a roll-out plan to stimulate EU wide uptake. In addition, a transferability plan will be established for other sectors, whereas the social housing sector will be the first ‘follower’.
The project was structured in a way where demand side and supply side were thoroughly analysed first in WP2 and WP3 respectively setting the foundations for WP4 and subsequent WPs where the compelling offer is composed and rolled-out in the rest of the EU.
At half way of the project progress, the building blocks have been settled (WP2 and WP3) and actual work on the renovation packages (WP4) has been initiated.
The analysis of the demand side in WP2 resulted in a better view on regional housing markets from NZEB renovation perspective. Although the main finding is that such segmentation is not commonplace, six segments have been identified. The main characteristics of those segments are described in a report. They compose the focus groups to afterwards design the renovation packages. A transferrable framework has been made available to define different segments in different contexts.
In a next step, the drivers and barriers per segment were clustered. Those were technical, financial, social and behavioural and context related. This resulted crucial information allowing to remove barriers and foster drivers of the identified segments.
Afterwards, the demand drivers were activated and barriers tackled tailoring to local conditions. Since local conditions influence the demand drivers and barriers, they have been taken into account when designing the renovation packages locally. Nevertheless, the analysis performed is valid throughout the EU.
The work on WP2 and WP3 has proven key in preparing the field for a quality development of compelling offers within WP4. The work in the latter WP is currently half way. This WP started by building the bridge; connecting the demand and supply sides. A generic template was composed illustrating the supply and demand connecting points. It was applied to the demand segments identified in WP2. This matrix template and the methods developed serve as the platform for developing the renovation packages.
In a next step, the previous template was tailored to the local differences for demand-supply combinations. The work done in these first eighteen months has greatly deepen the understanding and view on the supply and demand side. It has also given key insights on how to better address the demand side and seduce customers to undertake NZEB renovations by guiding them through the customer journey process. As a consequence, the timeline of WP6 has been adapted to maximise the use of the acquired knowledge. Task 6.1 on pilot testing has been started earlier than foreseen in Annex 1. At the same time, WP5 will be redefined to support the success of the compelling offers developed retaining the quality assurance focus.
Expected impact Contribution of the project
Trigger the renovation of existing buildings towards high energy performance, or raising quality and compliance, should result in savings of at least 25 GWh/year per million EUR of EU support. An update of the Common Performance Indicators is available in D1.5. In a bottom-up method the impacts were recalculated based upon region-specific data regarding the unit costs (effects in theoretical energy savings for typical renovations). These were then multiplied by units (dwellings) expected to be triggered. Based upon the assumptions of partners and what they deem to be feasible in their regions the target can be reached.

In July 2016 partners were asked to give an update on their estimate of units. Partners track the amount of units in their region triggered by their efforts. In general mainly the progress of direct deep renovations (in-one-go) contributing to the target is lower than expected by this point in time, but the lower number of units there can be more than balanced by a larger number of staged deep renovations triggered. This is a logical phenomenon caused by the reluctance of many homeowners to go for deep renovations in one go. This is experienced by partners in some regions and the reason why the concept of staged deep renovations was taken along in the project idea in the first place (see also explanation above in Objective 2).

Impacts should also be measured in terms of investment made by stakeholders in sustainable energy; The same update of the Common Performance indicators (D1.5) contains a calculation of the triggered investments. Unit costs of renovations (both staged deep as deep-in-one go have been recalculated.

For the investments triggered by the end of the project the target is set at € 138M approximately and between € 516M and € 825M up to 2020. Given the same estimate update as mentioned above the short-term target can be expected to be higher as a larger amount of staged deep renovations means more investments gained than the investments decreased by less direct deep renovations.