The project aims to set up a public service for energy efficiency, which should allow to considerably increase the number of thermal renovations in housing.
The Alsace Region’s "Energy-Climate-Air" Plan sets targets for 2020 and 2050. The achievement of these objectives and the reduction of social impacts related to the rising costs of energy are linked to the mass renovation of the existing Alsatian housing stock. A rate of energy renovation of approximately 19,000 homes/year by 2050, including 10,000 single-family homes/year is needed.
The project aims to set up a public service for energy efficiency known as Oktave, which should allow to considerably increase the number of thermal renovations in housing in order to meet those objectives. Oktave provides Alsatian households with technical advice to design and implement energy renovations; support to set up the financing plan for the works, which combines existing grants, tax rebates, and commercial loans; a complementary financing facility, the renovations are financed in the form of a debt attached to the property. Reimbursements rely on the perception of a contribution maybe collected through local taxes. For households without repayment capacity, the renovation plan is adapted so that the contribution may at most equal the expected energy savings. Oktave was implemented in close co-operation with local refurbishment platforms set up by the partner local authorities, which implement a large part of the local activities.
The total amount of resources is 40 million euros. Co-funded under the "Mobilising Local Energy Investments – Project Development Assistance" of the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme, commissioned by the European Commission.
Evidence of success
This project has achieved energy efficiency renovations in 1,000 single-family houses so far, reducing fuel consumption and gas emissions. In fact, about 15 GWh energy was saved.
The practice has developed a network of professionals in the building sector improving their skills and market visibility, around 200 jobs have been maintained or created.
Besides, it has achieved commitments from financial institutions to finance the energy efficiency plan.
A difficulty encountered was that the grant agreement has not yet signed.
Potential for learning or transfer
It is a practice rising high interest as it provides flexible funding to private end users. The flexibility allows to renovate the houses by proposing packaged service to householders with no upfront payments and long-term paybacks. This type of loan is advantageous for all parties: the investors have low risk and the beneficiaries will repay the loan with the savings originated in their bill due to the energy savings and tax rebates.
Example: House in Sélestat.
The initial situation was: simple windows, no insulation, gas mixed boiler without sensors, no ventilation system and old electrical system. Originated energy costs of 1,900 €/year.
The project included the following improvements: thermal insulation on the wall, floor and roof; PVC double glazed windows; installation of controlled mechanic ventilation; condensing gas mixed boiler, external sensor, room thermostat, new DHW and EF network; and retrofit electrical system. Resulting in energy saving of 1,300 €/year.
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