Questionnaire to Compare

16 November 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist 2
Last September the Dutch partners at the Province of Drenthe and the Municipality of Noordenveld reflected on a recent paper by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency which concluded that energy renovation is not cost-neutral for most homeowners. Does this also apply to other Stronghouse partner regions? Many questions came to mind. Using a questionnaire to collect the thoughts, experiences and observations from other Stronghouse regions, we’ve been able to compare and create an overview of the results, with some clarifying visuals.

Energy renovation is a major investment for most homeowners. Without subsidies, grants or low-interest loans, most regions percieve energy renovation to be affordable only for those with substantial savings or a high income. Stronghouse is set up to develop support measures that lead to lower costs and thus make energy renovation more affordable for a much greater group

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Highlights

Some highlights from the results of the Stonghouse questionnaire:

  • Many homeowners are concerned about the consistency of national, regional and local policies designed to make energy renovation more affordable for individual homeowners. Stronghouse works on the consistency and improvement of these policies. Stronghouse wishes to adjust and improve support measures instead of a complete overhaul.

  • A ‘netting’ regulation to enable homeowners to sell their renewable energy surplus is recognized to be important but the possibilities differ per region.

  • Interest rates for loans are relevant for the affordability of energy renovation and the required financial investment. These are equal or lower to other interest rates for individual homeowners in all Stronghouse regions.

  • Green Finance is een interesting option if the rates are similar or better – and with clear assessment of the potential reduction of CO2 emissions.

  • Providing 'building-related loans' is an attractive option for many partners. Here mortgage loans are based on the house (as opposed to homeowner). These loans are already available in some partner regions.

  • Stronghouse partners see the redesign of financial instruments, of energy advice to homeowners and neighbourhood solutions as the most urgent, first steps to lower the costs of energy renovation.

Alternatives

In the Dutch debate the National Environmental Assessment Agency noted two interesting alternatives: financing through voluntary leasehold or  energy renovation through an external company that also services the installations. These options are already in place in some partner regions while others are experimenting. Again, sharing experiences will be of great benefit to the whole consortium.

Interested in more detailed results and clarifying graphs?

You can access the full results of the Stronghouse questionnaire here.

Read the Stronghouse Paper on the PBL Costs of Energy Renovation report by Hein Braaksma and Ugo Leever