Stronghouse – Making Significant Progress
The partnership, having thus far met exclusively online, has developed a healthy transnational cooperation and made great steps forward, particularly with regards to the themes of green finance access, monitoring tools and improved Customer Journey and One-Stop-Shop solutions.
4872 -The number of energy-renovated houses so far within the Stronghouse project, with concrete plans in place for a significant rise in the coming project period.
Stronghouse partners have also progressed in tuning both existing and new national policies to the local needs of homeowners as well as researching and designing easy to use self-assessment tools to empower these homeowners. Moreover, the project is helping enterprises, professionals and tradesmen to develop the necessary skills for the energy renovation. of individual homes. Bank advisors play an important role in this too. To increase the involvement and support from the financial sector, Stronghouse is collaborating with banks in Sweden and Denmark on an improved, digital access to green finance.
Achieved CO2 reduction is already 7.5 Kiloton. With plans in place , Stronghouse expects to quickly close the remaining 17.5 'to do' gap.
Stronghouse has generated investments of more than 60 million euro to date.
Green finance access
The transnational exchange on the costs of energy renovation was initiated by Drenthe with discussions on the affordability for middle and low-income households and the challenges with existing loan schemes. Noordenveld shared some of their well-working local schemes. Inspired by such examples our Danish partners in Fredensborg have intensified support for homeowners applying for state-funded energy renovation grants while, in Belgium, Roeselare continues their endeavours to increase the number of homeowners using finance schemes and evaluating existing ones.
Tranparency & Blockchain
There is a high market interest in green bonds but the lack of transparency is a weakness in creating a sustainable finance eco-system is. Current access to green finance and the technical challenges involved was also the topic of a working session involving the University of Gothenburg and Spring, amongst others. Together they are developing open solutions, using Blockchain technology to facilitate sharing and validating green renovation initiatives.
ProjectZero works on the improved access of homeowners to green finance by training the bank advisors of all local banks in their Danish region and enabling these to play a more proactive role in nudging homeowners towards energy renovation. iNudgeyou is developing new and improved tools. There is now also a collaboration with Danske Bank to jointly explore green finance measures and the implementation of IT tools for improved communication with customers in terms of the possibilities for home energy renovation projects.
Partners from the Orkney Islands Council and Gate 21 are also linking up with other green finance renovation institutes and projects in other programmes, such as the Horizon 2020 project RoundBaltic, thus expanding the Stronghouse learning circle on this subject.
Several of our learning partners are working on self-assessment tools to help homeowners to see the potential energy savings and guide them towards financing possibilities. During a highly productive online work session around this theme, RGU shared their updated research and Roeselare introduced us to their DITUR project (Digital Twin for Upscaled Retrofit). A digital twin provides insights for renovation potential.
With further input from the Orkneys, Vechta and atene KOM the session also dealt with:
- European Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) as a visualizing tool
- The newly developed Stronghouse App for self-monitoring and user awareness
- The design of a short manual around energy efficiency in buildings, built on the developed customer journey
- The draft of the first training module with solutions and good practices for enabling homeowners to invest in energy efficiency.
Together with their stakeholders, Roeselare has been examining the possibilities for local or regional one-stop-shops whereas Linnaeus University works on this business concept together with start-up Klimatfastigheter Småland. Furthermore, Vives is also working on a digital platform where local government, SMEs, citizens and neighbourhoods can instigate, participate and integrate energy adaption strategies and projects. During this same period FORS A/S worked with a local Grøn Puls (Green Pulse) partnership on improving energy audits and homeowner support through the customer journey.
Other recent project achievements resulting from our transnational cooperation have provided improved insights into the needs, challenges, change agents and obstacles for homeowners and neighbourhoods.
- A comparative study of neighbourhoods and selection of three neighbourhoods for the Stronghouse pilot.
- Analysis of a big survey dataset to identify customer segments interested in energy renovation.
- The creation of personas for the energy renovation. customer journey.
- A neighbourhood approach together with a citizen-based energy cooperative.
- Use of visualising tools to raise awareness in neighbourhoods such as GIS maps and green front-door signs.
- Cooperation with social housing organisations and energy programmes to reach both tenants and homeowners in a neighbourhood.
- Improved community owned networks for renewable energy in urban areas.
- Empowered intermediaries organizing scaled investment, access to finance and SME involvement.
- Engaged volunteers and coached students to execute thermographic scans and thus raise awareness.
- Connections with climate steering committees to work on concrete action on a neighbourhood level.
- Collected insights from previous projects and existing practices, for example on how to involve SMEs.
- Further development of enabling and adoption strategies, also linking to national initiatives and industry leaders for the energy renovation of private homes.
Considering the contact limitations as a result of COVID-19, our Stronghouse consortium continues to push forward its ambitions and results have been very satisfactory. Now there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel we hope to connect on another level within a foreseeable future.