POWER HOUSE Newsletter - 12.07.2010

Dear Colleague,

The European Commission is due to propose a new EU Energy Efficiency Strategy at the end of 2010. It is expected that the Strategy will prioritize measures which can help to boost energy efficiency in existing buildings. Meanwhile, within the framework of POWER HOUSE EUROPE some of the main stumbling blocks on the path to increasing energy refurbishment rates for public, cooperative and social housing providers have been identified and oultined in the needs analysis report: Achieving energy efficiency in Housing - The way forward

As they own or manage 12% of EU’s housing these non-for profit housing providers can be the POWER HOUSE of the people-centred energy transition in the entire residential sector. Meeting these needs will therefore be vital if the EU strategic goals are to be met. Besides the need for appropriate financial tools to boost the process, one of the striking conclusions of the needs analysis was the appetite among housing providers for an EU–wide exchange of know-how and experiences in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Over the last months, this exchange has kicked off by means of the POWER HOUSE EUROPE on-line platform and events held at national level by POWER HOUSE national platforms. This newsletter presents some of the highlights of the on-going exchange.


SPANISH POWER HOUSE Platform - hot topics biomass and solar power

SPANISH POWER HOUSE Platform - hot topics biomass and solar power

The SPANISH AVS POWER HOUSE platform publish best practices 

At the latest platform meeting, held in Madrid on May 26th, a newly published collection of Spanish best practices in sustainable social housing was presented. In addition, The Institute for Energy Diversification and Efficiency from the Spanish Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Industry was invited to present a new funding programme entitled Biomcasa to promote the use of biomass in the residential sector. Members raised some logistic issues related to storage and delivery which should be considered in the context of the programme.
The Spanish platform's members were also presented with an update of the resources which POWER HOUSE EUROPE puts at their disposal by the project coordinator. In addition in response to issues related to esthetics of solar thermal panels and problems related to overheating, the meeting included a presentation of the product Solar Item which provides roofing material which combines solar thermal panels and roofing tiles with an in-built cooling device. 

Click HERE for more information about the Spanish platform.

POWER HOUSE EUROPE invited to the Netherlands

POWER HOUSE EUROPE invited to the Netherlands
POWER HOUSE EUROPE featured on the Aedes/National Tenants Union stand.

Aedes is the national organisation promoting the interests of almost every social housing organisation in the Netherlands. Aedes has established a profile on the POWER HOUSE EUROPE site and has uploaded two Dutch case studies.
As a follow-up a POWER HOUSE EUROPE workshop was included in the annual Aedes Professional day in Utrecht. This workshop gave the Dutch participants a first impression of the activities of POWER HOUSE EUROPE.

Aedes and the National Tenants Union had a stand on the business fair to promote the covenant on energy saving and sustainability. In the covenant, which is also signed by the Dutch Government, the parties express the intention to reduce energy consumption of households by 20% by 2020. The central tool of the covenant is the ‘woonlastenwaarborg’, a guarantee that the total cost of living (rent and costs of energy consumption) will not increase after refurbishment of the house. Usually refurbishment implies an higher rent, but the parties guarantee that this effect will be off-set by lower energy costs.

See a discussion on this issue and the broader problem related to pay-back on refurbishment in rental housing on our POWER HOUSE blog HERE.

POWER HOUSE France brings experts from Germany, Austria, Netherland and England

POWER HOUSE France brings experts from Germany, Austria, Netherland and England

Opening the POWER HOUSE FRANCE study day, Pierre Quercy, Delegué Générale of l'Union Social pour l'Habitat set the scene for the future of social housing on the European stage "The social housing sector has a demonstration role to play, and can become at European level, a key sector of ambition: with ambitious energy performance, efficiency, quality and empowerment of people." To meet these challenges,he stressed three things: the importance of sharing with our European counterparts, learning from our experiences and being sustainable.

At the conference four members of the CECODHAS energy experts' network presented a stock-take of the energy policy in social housing in their country: Ingrid Vogler, from GdW, Germany, Eva Bauer from GbV, Austria, Albert Koedam from Aedes, the Netherlands and Olivia Powis from NHF, England. Needless to say, the descriptions revealed the very different challanges being faced. An insight into lessons learned though participation in EU funded projects was also provided by a numer of French housing association. A round table discussion including Green MEP Karima Delli and Claire Roumet, Secretary General of CECODHAS - Housing Europe and Marie-Lorraine Hibon Director of AR Upper Normandy concluded the day with the key message of the important of the reinforcement of European funding after 2013 and the role to be played by financial engineering to adapt loans subsidies and energy contracting to the timescale and size of housing refurbishment projects.

L'Union Sociale pour l'habitat also launched the new POWER HOUSE FRANCE(http://www.powerhousefrance.com/) website on the occasion of the conference.

Read more about the session and download presentations HERE.

POWER HOUSE Study Day in Brescia, Italy

POWER HOUSE Study Day in Brescia, Italy

Brescia was selected as the venue for the first cross-border  POWER  HOUSE EUROPE study day open to local housing organizations representatives. The city manages its own district heating system and has developed a public-private company for the conversion and upgrading of its heating systems. Large and innovative sustainable housing projects from both cooperative and public housing organizations have been visited.

The study day was coordinated by POWER HOUSE Italy. Find out more about the programme which was attended by participants from Italy, France and Bulgaria HERE. For a more detailed account in Italian click HERE.

Sweden's Municipal Housing Company's 'Energy Challenge' transported to Italy

Sweden's Municipal Housing Company's 'Energy Challenge' transported to Italy

POWER HOUSE partner Legacoop Abitanti which represents over 3000 housing cooperatives in Italy invited Therese Rydstedt from SABO to present the 'SABO energy Challenge', which she coordinates, to their sustainability working group as the start of an exchange process between the two organisations.

Members of Swedish National Municipal Housing Federation SABO, leader of the Swedish POWER HOUSE platform agreed together on an achievable energy consumption target of 20% by 2016 signed a commitment, assigned an energy contact person and then got going on identifying what they term ‘energy thieves’ in the buildings they manage, which house one in seven Swedes.

Already using a simple on-line recording system, the organisations can show that they have reduced final consumption by 2.3% within one year and are on the way to reaching their target.

Within the Framework of POWER HOUSE EUROPE, in 2011 technical visits will take place to give practitioners from the Legacoop Abitanti network first hand experience of what the energy challenge means on the ground.

POWER HOUSE Blog: get the practitioners stance on some of the most central issues in the EU energy debate

POWER HOUSE EUROPE website hosts an interactive forum for information and knowledge exchange between professionals and policy makers in the social housing sector. A number of threads have been launched. On the issues of financing and the EU, the take-up of the 4% possible ERDF funding is key. While some countries have 100% take-up others have close to zero. The blog gives practitioners the opportunity to share their experiences with the utilisations of the funds. Green energy and eco-bling is another of the threads which aims to facilitate an exchange on optimising investment in renewables and efficiency through clever planning.

Registration is easy, free of charge and requires only a valid email address...join us!

Overview of Energy Efficiency services: New manual on-line

One of the objectives of POWER HOUSE EUROPE is to help housing organisations access the resources (such as guidebooks, technical reports, tools for training and asset management) which can assist them in their energy efficiency strategies. The POWER HOUSE team select resources which they have deemed most useful for inclusion in the on-line  resource database. 
The newly published "BewareE Manual" which focuses on most effective ways of empowering end-users to reduce energy consumption in the home, has been identified as one such resource. The project BewareE, which is co-financed by the EU Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, aims to reduce this user-related energy consumption by promoting the implementation of “energy awareness services”.  This manual addresses all potential service providers, such as housing companies, energy suppliers, energy agencies or consumer protection associations. In addition to important theoretical background information on stimulating behavioural changes, the manual presents different „intervention strategies“, numerous examples of successfully implemented services and a six-step-model for the realisation of services.

Click HERE to download the "BewareE Manual" from the Resources section of the POWER HOUSE EUROPE website.

“Innovative Responsible Housing for the Mediterranean”: a new project funded under the Med programme

“Innovative Responsible Housing for the Mediterranean”:  a new project funded under the Med programme

A new project funded under the Med programme entitled “Innovative Responsible Housing for the Mediterranean” has been initiated. It is a response to the lack of available data and information on technologies, construction techniques and project management best practices in the field of housing and sustainability adapted to the Mediterranean reality.

Such resources are often produced with different climatic and social conditions in mind. The partners (public and private institutions, from Croatia, Greece, Italy, France and Spain) will join ‘Mediterranean forces’ to promote a common approach to meet challenges in the delivery of sustainable housing which are specific to the region.

Click HERE to find out more on the project.


The sole responsibility for the content of this Newsletter lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission is responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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