Transition Zero Partners share experiences and work together in Berlin

Energiesprong champions from 20 partner organisations gathered in Berlin on 29th & 30th May 2018. Over two action-packed days, they shared ideas and next steps for creating the conditions for volume net zero energy retrofits across Europe.

The first day was dedicated entirely to the Transition Zero project. Market development teams from the Netherlands, France and the UK arrived with fresh experiences from pilots and country-specific differences to share. Fabrik 23, a repurposed old factory, provided an inspirational setting.

The major obstacle faced today is transitioning from a small demand for net zero homes at high prices to a tuned supply chain that will deliver net zero retrofits and new builds at optimum price and quality levels.  Workshops, input from the different countries and meet-ups helped develop insights into how to tackle this and how to move forward. 

Creating new international standards

The workshops focused on three main topics – monitoring, warranty and engagement. Monitoring is an essential ingredient of the Energiesprong model. It provides proof of net zero energy performance and helps identify potential issues, so if something is not working as it should be, it can be acted upon fast. In the monitoring workshop, participants discussed creating a first international standard for monitoring. They also shared lessons learned including the need for contractual certainty on who is responsible for the monitoring and how data will be controlled. A guide could help social housing providers to ask the right questions so solution providers install the optimal measures.

A performance warranty at less upfront cost

Energiesprong’s 25-40 year energy performance guarantee encourages solution providers to install higher quality, lower maintenance, integrated solutions good for the long term. It attracts responsible builders who want to establish a reputation for delivering comfortable, affordable, low energy homes to happy customers. In two warranty workshops, participants discussed whether a new European Quality Standard could accelerate the market and what it might look like in each country.

Attracting more supply & demand organisations

To bring costs down and quality up, market development teams need to attract housing organisations ready to place bigger orders, and solution providers willing to invest in industrialisation before the market is profitable. The third workshop was therefore about how to draw more engagement from relevant stakeholders to organise more demand, so that it becomes attractive for builders to develop net zero energy solutions. Experiences of working towards a volume deal were shared and taken home.

Round-up

In his round-up, Ron van Erck, Head of International Market Development, commented: “It’s great to see we’re hitting lots of promises and overdelivering on some fronts.” Over 4,500 Energiesprong houses have been realised to date and over 18,000 are planned, including 3,600 retrofits in France and 225 in the UK. New build is a potential accelerator for the retrofit market in the UK.

It is also encouraging that new solution providers Melius in the UK and Operene in France are looking to expand into manufacturing and automation to meet future demand. Energiesprong was recently highlighted in France’s national energy efficiency plan for housing as an example of best practice for tackling fuel poverty. As well as this, the first UK pilot in Nottingham was recognised as the ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the UK Housing Awards.

Partners from all countries returned home buzzing with ideas and many ‘to do´s’ to carry forward over the next six months to make net zero energy a market reality in their countries.