get_to_knowXSmall.jpgLegal frameworks concerning tenants’ influence on investment decisions vary per country. In some cases tenants simply are required to accept a refurbishment. However, in other cases tenants can reject refurbishment plans. Legal regulations also define when and how far refurbishment costs can be transferred to tenants, e.g. by means of rent increase. At least parts of these costs can be offset by lower overall costs for heating (e.g. oil or gas). In addition, tenants often benefit from a refurbishment through enhanced living comfort (e.g. better indoor climate, less noise due to better windows).

Typical reasons why tenants may be hesitant to support refurbishment plans

  • Lack of knowledge about energy savings and connected cost savings potentials and other benefits
  • Worries about reduced living comfort (noise, dust) for the period the refurbishment is carried out
  • Uncertainty about relationship between increasing rent and cost savings due to lower energy consumption

Energy change projects targeting tenants can address these issues by:

  • Providing information by an independent energy advisor concerning renovation/refurbishment cost and benefits
  • Supporting common decision-making process by building owner and residents, developing strategies to share benefits (and possibly costs) and by addressing wishes and requirements of both parties
  • Developing detailed cost calculations in order to provide information on rent increase and energy cost decrease early on
  • Providing examples from similar cases and supporting communication between building owner and tenants by means of clear and concrete examples and images
  • Complementing the planned building changes (refurbishment) by behavioural changes to utilize the moment of change to achieve a larger decrease in energy consumption and to demonstrate the relation between technical building systems and usage behaviour