Newsletter2- Property Owners’ perspective on energy efficiency retrofitting: Questions, concerns and the developed AdoREs solution

 Finding solutions to finance energy efficiency renovation in the private building stock is an important objective of the International Union of Property Owners and is necessary when striving to meet the political objectives of the Union for 2030 and 2050.  We encourage and support our members in 29 countries to promote similar activities at national, regional and local level.

Today, only 1.2% of Europe’s existing buildings are renovated every year. The investment gap in the deep renovation sector is largely due to high upfront investment costs, generally characterised by an excessively high degree of risk, long payback periods and by the general “invisibility of the energy benefit”.

Especially for private property owners, engaging in energy efficiency retrofitting of their properties often comes with many hurdles and a very significant financial effort which may discourage uptake. One of the ABRACADABRA project’s aims is to identify the potential constraints for property owners and explore how the use of building additions and the integration of renewable energy sources (AdoREs) could provide solutions to these barriers. The ABRACADABRA project’s assumption is that non-energy related benefits play a key role in the deep renovation of existing buildings. We will identify if, when, where and how a building addition or expansion can:

  • increase the real estate value of buildings through energy and architectural transformation,
  • generate additional rental income, or
  • bring additional cash flow as a result of property sale.

There are many aspects to be considered prior to investing in energy efficient retrofitting and each type of ownership brings its own set of considerations (owner-occupier, condominium co-owner, landlord). They range from technical, legal, and financial considerations to social aspects involved in making a retrofitting decision.

  • Is my building suitable for a roof-top extension?
  • What are the local regulations regarding add-ons and renewables?
  • Are there tax implications to be expected?
  • When can I expect a return on investment?
  • How do I convince co-owners to retrofit?
  • To what extend can the value of my property increase after renovation?
  • Is there a rental value to it?
  • How does retrofitting also benefit the landlord (split incentive dilemma)?

These are only some of the questions relevant for property owners. In order to explore all constraints and considerations linked to this, a series of national meetings and an International Workshop specifically focussed on property owners will take place. The International Workshop will be held on 8-9 February in Brussels, Belgium and will aim at exploring solutions to the identified constrains to engaging in energy efficiency retrofitting. Potential advantages of AdoREs will be presented and discussed and participants will explore how the decision-making process of property owners can be facilitated and accompanied, for example, with the help of local authorities.