Energiesprong wins European Commission’s award for most innovative project

Brussels, 18 June.  The EU Sustainable Energy Awards recognise outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Out of hundreds of projects, the Interreg NWE E=0 and Horizon 2020 Transition Zero projects, delivered by Energiesprong market development teams in the UK, France and the Netherlands, won the 2019 award for most innovative project.

Ron van Erck, Head of International Market Development at Energiesprong Foundation: “It’s a great moment to realise how much momentum we have been able to create with literally hundreds of people that have come together in five European countries now, all driving a new approach for retrofitting buildings. One that is desirable for people, one that uses the modern technologies available to us and one that really solves the issues that need solving instead of marginally improving on them.”

Affordable and attractive home upgrades

These two European funded projects have allowed Energiesprong market development teams to create markets for affordable and attractive net zero energy retrofits. After a retrofit of this type each home produces enough energy for its heating, hot water and appliances. Money saved on energy bills and maintenance pays for the improvement.

Highly insulated walls, roofs with integrated solar panels and other large components are made off-site, which allows whole-house retrofits to be done quickly and with minimum disruption to tenants. In-use energy performance and indoor comfort is guaranteed for up to 30 years.

“Before our upgrades, homes were not as energy efficient as they should have been and residents were daunted by complicated internal wall insulation. Plus, they did not want builders in their homes for weeks. Our solution overcame all of their concerns and made the whole process manageable,” said Sébastien Delpont, Director of the Energiesprong market development team in France.

After the retrofit a house is comfortable and looks good. “It was really cold, but now when you come home there is no need to turn on the heater. It's much more comfortable when you come home,” says tenant Amelie Goblas in the documentary E=0 transforming homes into the future.

On top of that, houses are healthier because they are free of mould and draughts. These radical makeovers can give a regenerative lift to whole neighbourhoods.

Transforming housing across Europe and beyond

The Energiesprong approach aims to create a new industry making these high performance, desirable and affordable retrofits. After the Netherlands, Energiesprong selected France, the UK, Germany and Northern Italy as initial markets to to create demand for volume retrofits and a supply chain to service them. A set of teams in North America is driving a similar initiative there.

All is facilitated by independent Energiesprong market development teams that intervene in the market by creating demand for this standard. Teams have worked with policy makers and social housing providers to make a viable path to scale. By brokering large volume deals, Energiesprong creates momentum needed for stakeholders to act simultaneously. This creates a viable market to entice suppliers to invest in digital off-site manufacturing. Mass customisation and industrialisation will make it possible to scale up the number of retrofits and the speed of delivery.

The initial concept was born in the Netherlands, where 5,000 homes have been successfully retrofitted to date. In France 26 retrofits have been completed and 6,550 retrofits are planned; in the UK 15 demonstrators are complete and 171 are in progress.

Sandra Hayes of the National Energy Foundation said: “The funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme was crucial. Participants used it to adapt the Energiesprong model for their local market conditions, to build demand and to support early adopters. Funding from Interreg NWE for pilots in the UK and France helped participants to meet the challenges of delivering the retrofit Energiesprong standard in real life. They’ve tuned the approach, giving housing providers the confidence to retrofit more homes.”

After a successful start bringing the Energiesprong approach to single family homes across Europe, the coming three years will see Energiesprong develop a market for retrofitting apartment buildings in North West Europe under a recently started project: Mustbe0, funded by Interreg NWE. The teams in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands will join forces.

Energiesprong a worldwide movement

Energiesprong is an award-winning revolutionary, whole house refurbishment and new build standard and funding approach. In 2018 Energiesprong won the World Green Building Council award and Nottingham’s Energiesprong pilot won the UK Housing Award and Shift Award. Energiesprong is now active in Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, New York State, and the UK. Cities across the world recognise the Energiesprong opportunity.

Watch a video made for the awards



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