The project "Additional benefits as drivers of energy-efficient building refurbishment" aimed to bring more clarity to the social debate on the multiple benefits of energy-efficient refurbishment. Specifically, the trialogue and workshop series brought together the perspectives and points of contact of stakeholders from business, organised civil society, politics & administration and science on the additional benefits of energy-efficient refurbishment in order to jointly develop ideas for quantifying and communicating these additional benefits.
In this interactive discussion atlas The findings of the entire project have been incorporated into this report. These include answers to the questions of what multiple benefits energy-efficient building refurbishment offers, which additional benefits are considered particularly important by the stakeholders and how additional benefits can be measured. Finally, we explain which recommendations for action can be derived from this.
With this new format, we would like to make an attractive, entertaining and informative contribution to the debate on the additional benefits of energy-efficient building refurbishment. We hope you enjoy clicking through the discussion atlas.
About the project: Developing methods to quantify and communicate the additional benefits
In the selected multi-stakeholder approach, instruments were discussed on how the added value of energy-efficient refurbishment can be determined and communicated. The resulting recommendations for communication and action as well as the basic consensus and open questions on the topic can be found at in the final report and in the interactive discussion atlas.
Background - energy-efficient refurbishment necessary for climate protection
The building sector is particularly relevant for climate protection: inefficient heating technology systems and poor external thermal envelopes make the building sector a key source of greenhouse gas emissions. In Germany, buildings are responsible for 35 % of final energy consumption and produce almost a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the German government's energy concept, Germany's building stock should be virtually climate-neutral by 2050. However, the majority of the building stock in 2050 is already built today. This means that energy savings must be achieved primarily through refurbishment. However, at the current refurbishment rate of 1% per year, it would still take decades to bring the current building stock to the targeted low consumption level.
The social benefits of energy-efficient refurbishment are manifold
The energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings reduces energy costs and increases energy security, it creates jobs, increases the comfort and health protection of its users and brings ecological benefits in the form of improved air quality and lower emissions.
For refurbishment measures to actually be initiated and implemented, the refurbishment must offer a benefit for the building owner or investor in the specific case. Up to now, this benefit has often been reduced to the factor of saved energy costs. However, the energy cost savings alone rarely provide sufficient incentive for the necessary, often demanding energy-efficient refurbishment measures. So far, the so-called additional benefits (often also called multiple benefits) have hardly been considered and communicated in the cost-benefit analyses, as they cannot be quantified in a standardised way and cannot be monetised by the investor. There is a lack of business management tools and methods in this regard, even though numerous studies exist on the effects of building refurbishment on the economy, employment, public health and tax revenue.
We see an opportunity to better emphasise and quantify the additional benefits and communicate them to the relevant stakeholders.