Together with colleagues from the National Housing Federation (UK) we have participated in several study visits in Energiesprong sites in the Netherlands within the framework of the Power House Europe project and we report.
Energiesprong (‘Energy jump’) is a new high-value construction and investment model for creating energy-neutral homes and regenerating neighbourhoods through a whole house ‘envelope’ retro-fitting package.
The Dutch-designed system blends innovative off-site factory construction with a financial model to eradicate heating bills and generate a 5.25% financial return (IRR) over a 30-year term, against up-front capital investment.
In effect, the housing association buys a 30-year performance and maintenance guarantee, using a fixed monthly payment by the resident which is lower than their savings on the average bill as the long-term funding mechanism.
The contractor delivers, maintains and guarantees the renovation against agreed energy performance targets for the 30-year term – although the HA can break the maintenance contract at 10 year intervals.
In a renovation lasting less than 2 weeks – in which residents can continue to occupy their home – homes with poor energy efficiency are transformed into zero carbon housing and estates regenerated with homes that look brand new.Read More
The renovation includes:
- Solar PV cassette roof
- New thermally efficient wall envelope
- Air source heat pump & heating system (or ground source where appropriate)
- Removal of gas to create electricity only property
- New low maintenance ‘glass’ kitchen & bathroom
- Electric induction cooker and shower, A+++ rated appliances
The approach has a range of benefits including:
- Resident satisfaction
- Thermal comfort
- Removal of boilers & gas servicing liability
- Zero on the meter with significantly reduced carbon emissions (energy neutral)
- Attractive façade (variations in finishes available) to regenerate old stock
- Return of 5.25% over 30-year term
In simple terms, the 30-year investment model works like this in Holland:
- HA invests c£65k to fund capital works
- Resident pays c£120 a month to HA (replacing their previous utility bills)
- HA pays c£80 a month to contract to maintain the property (existing maintenance allowance per home)
- Contractor guarantees energy performance over 30 years
- HA receives an annual ROI of 5.25%
Track record & costs
The Dutch social housing sector has committed to delivering 111,000 Energiesprong homes; the Dutch Government kick-started this initiative by funding the Energiesprong market development team (Platform 31) for 4 years as an enabling consultancy to drive what is in effect a market-led proposition.
Four contractors and six housing association have formed a partnership in the Netherlands to deliver the prototypes and first 10,000 homes of the renovation programme. To date c100 homes have been completed; costs have already started to reduce – although the next significant cost step change is planned when scale of 10,000 homes is reached.
A huge amount of learning and improvements have inevitably been accommodated but Energiesprong is now coming out of pilot phase and entering early maturity with capital costs of EUR 85,000 against annual maintenance costs of EUR 800 and monthly resident contributions of EUR 160 established as a working and viable model.
Resident feedback is good, with niggles and issues now being ironed out as the learning is adopted and the model adapted.