Owner-occupiers frequently encounter a large number of contact persons and at times contradictory information when investigating the options for the energy-efficient refurbishment of detached and semi-detached houses. The attempt to identify all of the refurbishment measures relevant to their needs and to complete complex projects can easily test their limits.
The entire process must be simplified – by providing information from a single source, pooling current offerings, and by facilitating contact to competent energy efficiency experts in the region. A structural framework must be created for this purpose. They key aspect is to encourage the individual industries and actors to communicate.
The "Allianz für Gebäude-Energie-Effizienz” (geea) – the “Alliance for Building Energy Efficiency” – joined with dena in 2014 to initiate the “The Building Transition” campaign as a means of achieving progress in this objective. Managed by dena, the campaign is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and by companies and associations in all relevant areas: from efficient heating technology and thermal insulation, to modern windows and renewable energies. In addition, close cooperation with regional energy agencies ensures that the project is firmly anchored in the regions. A central element of the campaign is the internet portal www.die-hauswende.de, which provides a list of regional energy efficiency experts, in addition to cross-sectoral information. Over 250 homeowner information events have been held regionally. A number of promotional days are also being held under the motto ‘Open for refurbishment’, during which companies specialised in refurbishments open their doors to interested visitors. Moreover, the campaign also involved the development and implementation of the nationwide storytelling competition “Refurbishment Heroes”. The campaign is accompanied by active PR and advertisements.
The services offered within the “The Building Transition” campaign are of immense benefit to homeowners looking to take their first steps toward refurbishment. In many cases, contact with regional energy efficiency experts, motivational examples in the neighbourhood or the information compiled on the website prove decisive in getting the ball rolling. After refurbishment, the owners can settle in and enjoy greater comfort, lower energy costs and a significant increase in the value of their property. Homeowners receive a unified message thanks to the inclusion of all relevant industries, skilled trades and regional actors. This project has a pioneering character in Germany, and the potential to indeed trigger ‘an incremental transition’.