The energy transition and the path to achieve it has become an essential, if not legally binding, concern for both the public and private sectors. The social housing sector plays a crucial role in this quest to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. As owners of very substantial property holdings, the social housing corporations must have the energy performance of their buildings at the heart of their attention if they wish to decarbonize their business.
Energy renovation: an imperative for social landlords
The social housing sector has a significant responsibility towards its tenants and the environment because its housing portfolio is a heterogeneous mix of new homes and dilapidated, very old buildings. Indeed, poorly insulated, energy-intensive housing makes a significant contribution to energy consumption and therefore to greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, energy renovation is becoming a priority for the housing corporations because it entails several direct benefits: improving energy performance, limiting residential carbon emissions, and having a consequent impact on tenants’ bills.
What’s more, in response to the urgent need to tackle climate change, the European union is speeding up its agenda to decarbonize the property sector. Because of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), both revised in 2018, the certification of building energy performance is now mandatory, and each EU country must define optimum minimum energy performance requirements.
Also, along with the “A wave of renovation for Europe” strategy of the European commission, the EPBD obliges EU countries to establish long-term renovation strategies to support the renovation of residential buildings into energy-efficient and decarbonized housing stock by 2050. These regulations force landlords to carry out work to improve the quality of their buildings, ranging from thermal insulation of the roof space to the installation of more efficient heating systems powered by the greenest energy possible.These obligations are not only a means of reducing carbon emissions but are also helping to create a more sustainably built environment, where thermal comfort is a priority in maintaining buildings that are fit for the challenges of the future.
Challenges faced by social landlords in renovating their building stock
Although the social housing sector formulates strong policy statements to contribute to decarbonization, they often come up against major obstacles to the effective implementation of these projects. The consequent size of their building stock is accompanied by specific constraints:
- The lack of comprehensive information on the condition of buildings is a major handicap to the social housing corporations in their drive to renovate. Indeed, to plan effective energy renovations, it is crucial to have accurate data on the age of components and their current energy performance. However, many landlords do not have access to it, as it is not easy to gather information on so many buildings. What’s more, given the diversity of their portfolio of buildings, each with its own renovation needs, it is difficult for social housing firms to define a common frame of reference to bring together and compare all this data in order to obtain an overall view of the state of the estate. The absence of a clear vision of renovation priorities is detrimental to strategic decision-making and can lead to inefficient use of limited resources and budgets.
- Budgetary constraints dictate the extent to which renovations are carried out. Energy renovations can be costly, and the social housing corporations need to strike a balance between the investment required and the financial resources available. Limited budgets can put the brakes on major renovations and prevent energy performance targets from being met. What is more, it takes a very long time to earn back investments in this sector, thus making it even harder to argue for thorough renovations
- It is also essential to be able to know in advance what energy gains and reductions in carbon emissions will be achieved by these global or one-off energy improvement operations. If one does not have a tool that allows to predict these at a macro level, then one may be exposing oneself to inefficient allocation of resources or to inaction on these issues. On the scale of a building stock as large as that of social landlords, it is almost impossible to accurately anticipate the gains that can be expected for each building, unless energy audits are carried out for each building, a very long and costly process which, if it were to be undertaken, would ultimately be pointless without a tool to centralize the results and prioritize action.
Oxand supports you
Oxand provides social housing corporations with solutions and approaches to overcome these many challenges and enables social landlords to make an effective commitment to the ecological transition.
- Centralize data that matters: Oxand is first and foremost a tool for formatting and centralizing information relating to your assets: building data is adapted to the use you need thanks to a technical breakdown into components, as well as their state of obsolescence and energy performance. This gives you an accurate overall picture of the condition of your assets, essential to managing its maintenance.
- Compare scenarios through simulations to define your best path forward: The energy and carbon performance of your buildings can be viewed very easily thanks to the centralization of energy consumption and heating devices data. Depending on your budgetary and regulatory constraints, you can simulate different maintenance and renovation scenarios in Oxand Simeo™ to choose the one that best suits your objectives and be able to prioritize your investments. All the simulation results are made available in the Analytics tool under different dynamic analysis dashboards.
- Pilot and improve your strategy over time: Oxand Simeo™ thus enables you to visualize and monitor your ecological performance: reduction in energy consumption and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions according to the chosen works scenario and the associated investments. Oxand Simeo™ thus supports you in the construction of your asset strategy but also in its monitoring thanks to the software solution enabling asset data to be updated according to your internal management processes.
Oxand’s aim is to help the social housing sector to decarbonize and carry out energy-efficient renovations. Using Oxand SIMEO paves the way to your energy transition and to transforming as much of your portfolio as possible into high-quality, energy-efficient homes.> Return to news