“Learnings from EUROPA and Next Steps in Germany”
Condominium associations are challenging in many ways for energy consultants. The size of the buildings, the efforts involved in the calculations and the complexity of the heating technology are very demanding.
Also, the complicated ownership structure of condominiums with not just one but many homeowners makes things harder even further. On the one hand, the effort required to prepare and present information in a way that is suitable for all owners, to take everyone’s wishes into account, and to communicate compromises that are technically and economically feasible while, on the other hand, serving the emotions that are firmly linked to the topics of “house and home” cannot be mastered by many energy consultants – or at least not economically for the consultant, since despite a high level of commitment on the part of the energy consultants, the difficult decision-making process in condominiums often means that the renovation does not take place after the consultation, with which the energy consultant would earn a substantial part of his fee.
In the past, this has led many energy consultants to exclude homeowners’ associations as potential customers for building renovation. Coupled with the tough decision-making process, these are two of the reasons why condominium associations are in such bad position in terms of energy efficiency.
In the course of our work on the EUROPA project, we have found that this has led to a high demand for consulting services from condominium associations. Since the launch of our OSS in the fall of 2021, we at eza! have received over 210 inquiries from homeowners’ associations and property management companies. However, the existing consulting structure with subsidies for the individual renovation roadmap (iSFP, a tool of the German subsidy policy) is too lengthy and – depending on the complexity of the building – also too cost-intensive for condominium associations as a first planning step.
In order to meet the demand, we have developed a simpler consulting service that can be made available in a timely manner because it requires little effort on the part of the energy consultant, it s affordable for homeowners, and it is also subsidized as a planning service in the event of a subsequent renovation. As a result, the homeowners receive a solid basis for discussion and opinion-forming in their community and the following professional planning. Upon request, our consultants also come to the condominium owners’ meeting and answer any remaining questions.
In addition, we now have the area of “multi-family houses / condominium owners’ associations” firmly in our program at our events and offer targeted information for these buildings with presentations, on-site consultants, and publications.
Thus, together with our eza! partner network consisting of regional craftsmen, planners, freelance energy consultants and construction companies, we are confident that we can continue to process the many inquiries in the usual high quality, even beyond the term of EUROPA, and continue to make a contribution in the Allgäu region against climate change and towards a more ecological building stock.