older detatched red wooden house

New insights into how to increase interest in energy renovation of detached houses

Renovating the house to save energy benefits both the individual house-owner and society at large. But it is usually not that simple and involves contacts with several different types of companies. Therefore, in his doctoral dissertation, Georgios Pardalis has investigated whether a one-stop-shop concept may be a solution.

Buildings account for a large part of the energy used in Sweden. Furthermore, of our 2 million detached houses, more than 80 percent are older than 35 years. Therefore, the interest in renovating to save energy should be great among house-owners, but so far this has not been the case.

One of the reasons may be that the decision-making process is complex. The market is fragmented and those who want to make an energy efficiency renovation need to contact different actors for different parts of the renovation. For this reason, Georgios Pardalis, doctoral student in building technology at Linnaeus University, has explored in his new dissertation whether a one-stop-shop concept may be a key to increasing the interest.

“A so-called one-stop-shop offers the house-owner a single point of contact for the entire renovation, from an energy performance check to the final quality check. It can be a physical provider or a web platform. There, homeowners can find all the information and services they need to carry out a coordinated project”, says Georgios Pardalis.

Interest from different parties

Georgio's research has taken the form of surveys and interviews with house-owners, construction enterprises, banks, brokers and energy advisers. The study shows that there are house-owners who want to be early adopters and would be interested in the one-stop-shop concept. The actors on the market are also positive in theory, but they see difficulties in practice.

“It is mainly about a lack of resources and management competence, and about the risks of changing the companies' business model. Still, we identified two actors who, under certain conditions, could be the coordinators of a one-stop-shop”, says Georgios Pardalis.

The dissertation provides insights into key issues that need to be addressed in order for the one-stop-shop concept to become a reality in Sweden. It also proposes a number of different strategies for creating market conditions that promote energy renovation of older detached houses. Here, both local and national authorities can create driving forces for a more sustainable society.

“For house-owners and families, energy renovations can also create a better living environment. This is important, not least in times like this when many people work and study at home due to the corona pandemic. Improved lighting, air quality and heat comfort have been proven to positively impact health and well-being”, concludes Georgios Pardalis.

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The dissertaion: Prospects for the Development of a One-Stop-Shop Business Model for Energy-Efficiency Renovations of Detached Houses in Sweden.