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The path to Transition Zero is now clear!

Scaling up the Energiesprong success

Groningen, 27 May 2016 | Published in Energy, Economy
Net Zero Energy housing explained

How to increase the transformation of the building stock while at the same time maintaining affordability for the residents? That is the key question, Housing Europe members have been trying to answer over the past years in their daily activities. Part of the answer is now provided by the Transition Zero Project whose kick off meeting took place in Groningen on 21st April.

Based on the Dutch Energiesprong experience, the project aimed at creating the conditions for the development of a market for net zero energy refurbishment of social housing in France and UK- the objectives being that after 32 months 5000 units in each country are being renovated. The big novelty and potential breakthrough is in the new business model created.

In order to make Energiesprong solutions financeable, in the Netherlands, the resident’s monthly energy bill is converted into an agreed and guaranteed Energy Plan, for which the resident pays a fixed amount each month to the housing provider. The Energy Plan is set at the same amount as the resident’s previous energy bill with the result that the resident is protected from future energy price rises. The resident gets a more comfortable and better home for what is essentially the same cost. When using more energy than agreed on, the resident pays more to the houding provider, when using less the resident gets money back. 

Each country will adapt the model to their regulatory framework- see for instance the UK approach here- but there are some common principles:

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  • A guarantee of performance over 30 years by the construction/renovation company
  • The use of prefabricated elements for the renovation of the buildings allowing a full renovation in maximum 10 days
  • Net zero energy on the meter
  • Use of renewable and local energy to cover the remaining energy needs
  • The setting up of an energy fee to replace the energy bill. This fee is paid to the housing company that then pays the construction/renovation companies.

The project will now last almost 3 years and will be coordinated at  EU level by the National Energy Foundation and with Stroomversnelling in the Netherlands and Greenflex in France leading the market development through bringing together supply (construction/renovation companies), demand (social housing companies), finance (public or private institutions) and policy.

Housing Europe will be involved in reaching out social housing companies in other countries and making the policy case towards the EU institutions and stakeholders for such an approach.