Increasing awareness on potential energy savings by tailor made advice coupled with EPC procedures in Flanders, Belgium
EPC’s are mandatory for existing dwellings in the Flanders region of Belgium since 2008. These EPC’s contain standardised suggestions on renovation measures, but they are often neglected by home owners. To increase awareness on the possible savings that can be reached by implementing renovation measures, the Belgian pilot focussed on developing a tool to provide tailor made advice. EPC assessors were trained to use the tool and provide tailor made advice on possible savings. To inform home owners on the suggested renovation measures, a website with general renovation information, was set up to compliment the tool.
Activities undertaken so far:
- Creation of www.epcinfo.be, a website for home owners and tenants, with general information on EPC’s and renovation measures
- Development of a tool for EPC assessors to give tailor made advice
- Information session with 75 EPC assessors to introduce the pilot in general and explain the tool
- Testing phase of the tool, during which 59 tailor made renovation advices were created
- Survey within EPC assessors participating in the pilot and home owners/ tenants who received tailor made advice
Key lessons learnt:
- Most EPC assessors indicated it wasn’t easy to find home owners willing to receive tailor made advice, even though most assessors offered the extra service for free.
- EPC assessors, actively participating in the pilot found the tool very useful and would like to see it implemented in the official EPC-software.
- Most home owners or tenants who received tailor made advice are convinced about the benefits and are willing to implement the suggested measures, at least partially.
- With EPC assessors, concerns were raised about the financial information. The calculated energy consumption before renovation often differed from the actual consumption, since the theoretical calculation made assumptions that don’t stroke with reality. The precautions concerning this financial information was clearly stated to the home owners and tenants.
- Most homeowners visiting www.epcinfo.be found the information on the website useful and easy comprehensible.
The Belgian pilot indicate the usefulness of tailor made renovation advice. It offers the home owners greater insight in the savings they could achieve and they therefore can be persuaded into implementing renovation measures. However, great efforts are needed in convincing home owners to get renovation advice. Most of them are reticent at first, but show great interest afterwards. Therefore an individual approach convincing home owners on the benefits of tailor made renovation advice seems appropriate.