September 21, 2009
Stimulating energy renovations in multiapartment buildings by engaging residents
Project manager: Ekodoma Ltd.
The objective is to support residents’ ability to decide on making cost-effective energy renovations in selected multi-apartment houses. In order to implement energy efficiency (EE) measures alongside a general renovation a certain procedure is required: a vote has to be organised among all residents. Only if a 51% majority supports renovation plans these may be carried out. This often runs into a number of problems: it is difficult to stimulate the required support among residents, and a lack of trust towards the company managing the building (who usually proposes and organises the renovation) further decreases support. Additionally, there are financial issues that need to be solved to get a project on track and the frequently bad quality of construction work done cause people to be less supportive. In other words, a great deal of time and effort needs to go into the decision making and implementation of these projects in order to make them successful.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Gain an understanding of how and why residents of multi-apartment buildings decide to support or decline energy efficiency renovation plans (focus: heating and hot water production)
- Provide detailed and tailored information for residents about renovation options and their consequences, and possibilities of financing.
- Improve the interaction between residents and their building management company in order to increase trust and establishment of mutual interests concerning the implementation of energy efficiency measures (possibly leading to renovations or EE measures implementation)·
- Stimulate renovations and increasing implementation of EE measures based on detailed and tailored information for residents
The primary target group are residents of eight multi-apartment buildings (29-36 apartments each) that are managed by the same building management company in the city of Cēsis; 90-95% of the residents own their apartment. The secondary target group is the building management company managing the respective buildings
Four of the selected buildings have already carried out som relnovations. This has clear advantages for the project design and implementation. Firstly, residents of these buildings might be rather receptive to further ideas of improving the structural and EE condition of their building. Secondly, their residents are able to share their experiences concerning reno-vations with the residents of the other four buildings. Thirdly, the inclusion of renovated and non-renovated buildings allows easy comparison between the two categories and also provides illustrative examples during discussions with residents.
Type of intervention
- Identification of main heat losses by detailed benchmarking analyses and infrared pictures of all eight buildings.
- Performing a residents’ questionnaire and individual in-depth interviews in order to learn about and assess knowledge, worries, questions and problems regarding investment-related efficiency measures.
- Based on this knowledge organisation of one or several information workshop for residents.
- In case of decisions taken in favour of efficiency measures Ekodoma and the building management company will support the residents (e.g. in recommending trustworthy renovation companies) and will conduct quality checks of the specific renovation works.
- Finally energy savings (in terms of kWh) and change in the residents’ attitude + opinion concerning energy efficiency measures will be investigated via a second questionnaire, round of interviews and benchmarking.