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31 01 2014
Energetic refurbishment: the Know-How

High costs, uncertain savings: Landlords and owners often react hesitant in terms of the energy-saving refurbishment of their properties. However, tenants and the state advocate the refurbishment - often more than expected.

Energetic refurbishment: tenants would pay more

Tenants are willing to pay a higher net rent for an energetically refurbished apartment. This not very surprising conclusion comes from a study at the University of Ruhr West. New and interesting though is that the researchers have studied in detail how much the surveyed tenants would pay more for individual measures. For this around 1,000 tenants were interviewed and they were supposed to specify – on a basis of an average German apartment building (built in 1960) - which additions they would accept to pay on a basis of a notional rent of 635 euros.

The highest addition enabled the solar thermal system: The tenants were willing to pay 2.8 percent more basic rent for an apartment that is heated with the help of solar energy. On the second and third place a 160 mm thick insulation (2.6 percent more cold rent) and the installation of a heat pump (2.5 percent more cold rent). They would spend two percent more for the rent for an apartment with triple glazing, but only 1.3 percent for a 100 mm thick insulation.  The rear is the double glazed windows: for them a rental increase of one percent shall be considered acceptable.

Energetic refurbishment: use funding opportunities

While tenants would willingly pay higher rents for certain energy-saving measures, the state is willing to support owners with favorable loans: Who refurbishes his property so that it reaches a certain standards can expect to be funded by the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW). Owners get a cheap loan and do not need to pay back a certain portion of it. But the KfW also supports the financing on equity basis: 2013 they subsidized investments with a total of 1.8 billion euros. According to the coalition agreement this program shall still exist in the future.

The reward of effort is lower energy consumption - in times of rising prices for gas, oil and electricity this is for more and more tenants an important aspect of renting an apartment. A study by the consumer organization has recently been shown that after the refurbishment - on average - 16 percent less energy is consumed. When experts were consulted prior the refurbishment, the savings were even higher at an average of 27 percent. An energetic advice is paying off - so at this point it is also mandatory in order to receive funding from KfW. In addition to the KfW, there are other institutions that distribute funding, including some regional banks.