Individual Building Renovation Roadmaps (iBRoad): Developing customised tools for deep renovation and comfortable energy efficient homes

By Mariangiola Fabbri, Senior Project Manager, Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)

In Europe, buildings are responsible for around 40% of energy consumption. Without a long-term plan to renovate and decarbonise the European building stock, the road to achieve the EU’s climate and energy objectives and the Paris Climate Agreement commitments will be long and winding.

While building performance is constantly improving, only 3% of the EU’s building stock has been built to a standard that can be considered efficient. This means that 97% of the building stock needs upgrading[1] .

Renovating a building can be complex and time consuming. For building owners, together with the difficulty of accessing dedicated financing for renovation, the lack of knowledge about what to do and how to implement renovation measures are the main obstacles to improving the energy performance of their building. That is why, to succeed in such an endeavour, building owners need support.

The iBRoad project is helping to lift these barriers by developing an Individual Building Renovation Roadmap for single-family houses and small multi-family houses. This tool looks at the building as a whole and provides a customised renovation plan over a long-term horizon (15-20 years). At its core, the renovation roadmap is a home-improvement plan, which considers the occupant’s needs and specific situations (e.g. age, financial situation, composition and expected evolution of the household, etc.) and avoids the risk of ‘locking-in’ future renovation solutions due to a lack of foresight.

An individual Building Renovation Roadmap is an evolution of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as it supports building owners with personalised suggestions on their renovation options. An on-site energy audit, fulfilling specific criteria and established with the owner, results in a ready-to-use, personalised renovation plan for the building owner, presenting all the measures to implement and the order to implement them, together with an explanation of the benefits to be expected after the renovation is completed, including energy savings and comfort improvements.

The plan will be combined with a repository of information (known as a building logbook) on aspects like the energy consumption, energy production, executed maintenance and building plans.

With its innovative approach, iBRoad aims to empower home owners and support them in taking informed decisions concerning renovation, based on their individual needs. By doing this, iBRoad will encourage cost-effective building renovation measures and boost deep renovation to achieve greater energy efficiency.

The project builds upon existing examples in Germany, France and Flanders (Belgium), to identify successful features and tools that can be adapted to different national conditions (such as climate zones and regulatory frameworks).

The concept and tools developed by iBRoad will be tested in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal and Germany (Germany will only test the logbook). A training programme for auditors will also be provided. The feasibility and replicability of the iBRoad model in other building typologies and EU Member States will be assessed through auditor- and user experience feedback.

iBRoad and the Energy efficient Mortgage Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative are  complementary in scope and expertise. By providing a user-friendly tool to guide building owners through a step-by-step deep renovation (iBRoad) and the financial means to implement it (EeMAP), together they can help to lift two of the main barriers to renovation (complexity and access to finance). The products resulting from these two projects can incentivise home owners to improve the energy performance of their building and to finance it through a dedicated energy efficiency mortgage available on the European market.

By maintaining an open and continuous dialogue between both iBRoad and EeMAP, and providing input to the development of the projects (including, stakeholder engagement, market research and customer surveys), the projects’ key features can be developed in tandem, ensuring that all relevant issues are considered and potential ‘lock-ins’ are avoided.

The iBRoad project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement N. 754045. The project started in 2017 and will run until June 2020. The project has 12 partners from 9 countries.

Twitter: @iBRoad _project


[1] Only 3% of the EU building stock has an Energy Performance Certificate with an “A” label, which although definitions differ between countries, is broadly considered as a “very efficient” building.

Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative Gains Strong National Support from Belgium

Brussels, 15 November 2017 – For immediate release

Second EeMAP National Roundtable event takes place in Brussels

Today, the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative takes another concrete step forward with the second in a series of national Roundtable events, this time focussing on Belgium. The event, organised in Brussels in cooperation with the Flemish Construction Confederation (VCB), brings together experts from the Belgian and European banking, construction, valuation and engineering sectors with a strong interest in building energy efficiency and its financing.

Significantly, today’s Roundtable event will also be attended by representatives of the Cabinets of the Belgian Regional Energy Ministers, underlining the political support that EeMAP is garnering also at national level.

The event’s aim is to discuss how energy measurement calculations and asset performance documentation developed and deployed in Belgium can be scaled up to support the development of an Energy Efficient Mortgage product for Europe, which will be put to the test in a forthcoming EeMAP Pilot Phase.

The first EeMAP national case study, with a focus on Italy, was launched 13 November 2017 in Milan. Other national Roundtable events are in the pipeline for later this year and early in 2018.

Luca Bertalot, EeMAP Coordinator, commented:

“We are excited to see so much interdisciplinary support from Belgium for this national EeMAP case study. We are particularly encouraged by the strong political interest from Belgium in the Initiative. Exchanges of this kind between local and European stakeholders are invaluable for identifying and incorporating national best practices into the EeMAP framework at European level and, ultimately, for the long-term success of the Initiative.”

Ivo Van Bulck (Secretary General UPC/BVK; Director Commercial Banking Febelfin), commented:

“The Belgian credit sector is playing a leading role in this European social initiative. This kind of close cooperation between the construction industry, the credit sector and the political world is absolutely crucial if Belgium and Europe still want to pursue the environmental objectives set for 2050. The Belgian credit sector is also prepared to assume its responsibility for the timely achievement of those goals.”

Marc Dillen, Managing Director, Flemish Construction Federation, commented:

“The goal set forward by the Flemish government to make all homes energy efficient by 2050 is very ambitious. In order to achieve this goal, we need initiatives on the national level as well as on the EU level, such as EeMAP. A major challenge is to find long-term financing for home renovations, therefore we have developed our ReCalculator tool to provide an accurate estimation of the real energy savings after renovation.”

Johan Van Der Biest, General Manager, Wienerberger, commented:

“Renovation of the existing housing stock is key to reach the CO2 reduction targets. The payback lies in the combination of energy cost reductions and the increase of the total value (physically and aesthetically) of the property. The focus must be on financing the reduction of energy consumption and upgrading the fundamental quality of the building, since they define the value, and not the production of green energy in a property.” 

Presentation materials are available here . The agenda of the meeting is available here.

Italian banks take up COP23 challenge and organise first EeMAP Roundtable in Milan

First EeMAP national Roundtable event to focus on Italy

Following on from the presentation of EeMAP in Bonn at COP 23, the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative takes a concrete step forward with the first in a series of national Roundtable events, on this occasion focussing on Italy. The event, organised in Milan and hosted by UniCredit, brings together experts from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Italian banking, construction, valuation and energy sectors with a strong interest in building energy efficiency and its financing.

The purpose of the event is to gather practical input from national practitioners for the EeMAP Initiative, which seeks to scale-up mortgage financing for energy efficient buildings at European level. The outcomes of the event will feed into the EeMAP Pilot Phase, which will test the framework for energy efficient mortgages produced by the EeMAP project’s technical committees. The Pilot Phase is excepted to begin in 2018 with a view to delivering a final framework for an Energy efficient mortgage product in the final stage of the EeMAP Initiative in 2019.

Following today’s event, a second EeMAP national Roundtable event focussing on Belgium will be organised on 15 November 2017 in Brussels. Other national Roundtable events are in the pipeline for later this year and early in 2018.

Luca Bertalot, EeMAP Coordinator
, commented:

Today’s exchange will allow us to gather a lot of invaluable practical input for the preparation of the forthcoming pilot phase. We are delighted to see such interest from Italian stakeholders and are extremely grateful to UniCredit for leading the way in Italy on behalf of the EeMAP Consortium.

Luciano Chiarelli and Paolo Eliezer Foà, UniCredit, commented:

Mortgage markets have the potential to play a game-changing role in relation to energy efficiency investment in buildings, opening new market opportunities, stimulating best practices and making banks’ portfolios more resilient. UniCredit is therefore delighted to host the first EeMAP Roundtable in Italy. As a systemically important bank UniCredit believes that it can play an important role in relation to sustainability issues, especially in synergy with all relevant stakeholders, and enrich the whole economic system and its actors.

Energy Efficient Mortgages could play central role in Europe’s new sustainable finance strategy

Energy efficient mortgages could play a central role in Europe’s new strategy for sustainable finance, states a EeMAP White Paper published today under the EU funded ‘Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan’ (EeMAP) Initiative – which sets out key recommendations towards the creation of an energy efficient mortgage product for Europe.

In producing this White Paper, EMF-ECBC has summarised the results of comprehensive research findings which are detailed in four underlying EeMAP Technical Reports on the same topics (available here), and which constitute the basis of initial cross-sectorial conclusions and recommendations regarding the cornerstones of a future Energy Efficient Mortgage product.

For more information see here.

EeMAP presented at EU Energy Day during Expo 2017 in Astana

On Monday 24 July, Luca Bertalot, Secretary General of the EMF-ECBC, presented the EeMAP Initiative at the 2017 International Exhibition in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The theme for this year’s Expo is “Future Energy” and energy efficiency is one of the key concepts being discussed during the world-wide debates taking place in Astana to tackle the global energy-related challenges which directly impact our planet.

The EeMAP Initiative was presented as part the European Commission’s EU Energy Day, which brought together cities, project developers, technology providers, policy-makers and other clean energy stakeholders to discuss clean energy solutions for the buildings of the future, and was a showcase project of how the mortgage sector can play a key role in creating energy efficient solutions for buildings.

EeMAP Announces New Energy Efficient Mortgage Website

Today, the Energy efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative is proud to announce the launch of its new website:

The new website offers visitors an easy-to-navigate portal through which they can quickly access key information about the EeMAP Initiative. This includes details on forthcoming events, technical level meetings and access to reports on market research and findings which will be conducted in order to advance the Initiative. The website also gives access to information concerning the broad range of stakeholders supporting the project.

The EeMAP is a market-led and first-of-its-kind initiative, with its objective being the design and delivery of an ‘energy efficient mortgage product’. This is intended to incentivise the acquisition of energy efficient properties or facilitate the improvement of the energy efficiency of existing properties by way of preferential financing conditions linked to the mortgage. The Initiative aims to demonstrate that energy efficiency has risk mitigation effects for banks because of its impact in enhancing a borrower’s ability to service their loan and on the value of the property/collateral which could, therefore, qualify for a better capital treatment.

The EeMAP Initiative was launched in June 2017 at a Kick-Off Stakeholder Meeting in Rome, where over 100 European market stakeholders met with the European Parliament, the European Commission and local authorities, to discuss how EU property owners can finance energy efficiency investments in the European building stock. A series of videos summarising the debates held at the Kick-Off Meeting and the comments of key supporters, including MEP Bendt Bendtsen’s (rapporteur on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) positive response to the timeliness of the EeMAP Initiative, can be accessed via the new EeMAP website here.

In the context of tomorrow’s European Commission Public Hearing on Sustainable Finance (link), ‘energy efficient mortgages’ will be highlighted as a critical financial instrument to redirect private capital into energy efficiency investments, lowering carbon emissions and transposing the EU’s energy efficiency policy into tangible results contributing to the challenges posed by the COP21 agreement.

Luca Bertalot, EeMAP Coordinator & EMF-ECBC Secretary General, said: “We are delighted to announce that the EeMAP website is now online. With a clear market-developed roadmap for the private financing of energy efficiency, the EeMAP Initiative proposes concrete solutions to enhance energy efficiency in the European Union, with market stakeholders supporting the leadership role that the EU has taken in tackling climate change.”

Additional content will continue to be added to the new website as the EeMAP Initiative progresses over the coming weeks and months, so please check back on a regular basis for the latest updates. The EeMAP Initiative can also be followed via Twitter at @EEMActionPlan.

Stakeholder Meeting & Kick-off of the Energy efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP)