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Northpass.ivl.se

NorthPass – Promotion of the Very low-energy house
Concept to the North European Building Market
NorthPass
Country-specific market analysis,
success factors, marketing approach,
and market situation
23/11/2011
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Hannele Ahvenniemi, Pekka Tuominen
Disclaimer
NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
The information in this document is provided as is and no guarantee or warranty is given that the information is fit for any particular purpose. The user thereof uses the information at its sole risk and liability. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Communities. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. Table of contents
1 Executive summary . 3
2 Introduction . 4
3 Methods . 5
3.1 Expert analysis . 5 3.2 Case studies . 5 3.3 Literature review . 5 3.4 PEST . 6 4 Country-specific reports . 8
Conclusions . 37
References . 39
NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The purpose of the study was to examine the market situation of very low-energy houses in eight North-European countries, and to suggest marketing approaches in each cases. Each country contributed to the study by providing general and also more specific information about the market situation in their countries and about cases in which improvements in energy efficiency had already been implemented successfully. The market situation was analysed with the help of PEST analysis (analysing the political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environment of the market), and new marketing approach was created by defining the strengths and opportunities in each country. The eight countries differ from each other to a large extent in terms of the political environment, state support, availability of low-energy houses and products needed for construction, environmental awareness and the level of knowledge. Therefore an individual proposal for a suitable marketing approach is needed in each country. In Nordic countries, where low-energy buildings already have penetrated the housing market to some extent, focus should be on disseminating information, finding new marketing channels and encouraging state and municipalities to promote low-energy construction by their actions. In these countries there already exists an interest in sustainable construction and also required products and expertise are available in the market. In the Baltic countries and Poland, the political, economic and social environment is different and the first stage should be raising the awareness about low-energy construction among people, introducing more successful examples to potential buyers and bringing low-energy products and cheap solutions to the market. The state could take a more prominent role also in these countries by introducing regulations, allowing financing opportunities and by demanding more energy efficiency in public procurement. Despite the differences across the countries some similar measures are still needed everywhere. Evidently providing a suitable social and economic environment with raising the awareness of people is one of the most important actions in all across Europe. Also coordinating knowledge and facilitating cooperation between different actors is essential for establishing a functioning economic environment for the low-energy housing market. Introducing legal requirements about energy efficiency and defining legal concepts for low-energy construction would be important for creating a suitable political environment whereas a decent technical environment should be obtained by bringing necessary products and expertise to the market to a sufficient extent. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
2 INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this report is to present a market analysis and define a marketing approach for speeding up the market penetration of very low-energy houses in each participating country (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia). This objective is reached by identifying the similarities and differences of the driving forces and barriers of each country. All the partners of NorthPass have participated in this report by providing information about the fundaments of market potential in their countries and by providing examples of success cases. These reports were authored by Tõnu Mauring, Helen Hirv (TU), Ole Balslev-Olesen (Denmark), Mikko Virtanen (VTT), Agris Kamenders, L ga Ievi a (RTU), A. Kaklauskas, A. Banaitis (VGTU), Inger Andresen (SINTEF), Szymon Firlag (NAPE) and Maria Lindblad and Kaisa Svennberg (IVL). This report provides important background information for another NorthPass report “Report on low-energy building market situation, trends, and influencing factors” in which low-energy building market situation, trends and influencing factors are studied. These two reports serve as background information and offer a framework for the NorthPass report “Scenarios, business models and examples for very low-energy housing markets”, which presents suggestions on how to increase market penetration possibilities of very low energy residential buildings. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
3 METHODS
The country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approaches and market situations described in this report are based on a triangulation method based on various types of sources available to the authors. The main sources used are described in the following section. 3.1 Expert analysis
Each country contributed to this study by delivering a paper about the fundaments of the market potential in each country describing general facts about the country, the current market situation of low-energy construction and other information relevant for this study. 3.2 Case studies
Each country contributed to the survey by presenting a success case of sustainable residential building in their country. Technical features of each case were presented as well as evaluation of the success of the project (positive and negative economic and social results). Success cases consisted of both single family residential buildings and blocks of flats, and also some larger cases were introduced (for example the Vilnius city housing renovation programme in Lithuania). The scope and quality of the data varied to a considerably large extent across the countries but some conclusions could, however, be drawn. 3.3 Literature review
A few similar studies have been published during the last 5 years by different actors. The PEP-project (Promotion of European Passive Houses, under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme) identifies and describes passive house solutions and best practices in different countries. This research also presents the general barriers for implementing very low-energy construction practices in 8 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom) as well as offers suggestions on how to overcome these barriers. Main findings are that the most commonly existing barriers across countries are limited know-how, limited contractor skills and acceptation of Passive Houses in the market. To overcome these barriers it is highly important to pay attention to providing practical information and solutions to building professionals, providing practical training to installers and contractors and communication about the Passive House concept to the market.[1] IDEAL EPBD project (Improving Dwellings by Enhancing Actions on Labelling for the EPBD) examines the current housing stock, potential of and barriers to energy savings and policy measures set up to overcome these barriers in 10 participating EU Member States. According to this survey, a common barrier is that the improvements in energy efficiency are slow because of the lack of effect on property prices. Another problem presented in all country reports is that the consumers give a low priority for energy efficiency improvements. Also lack of information, insufficient or lax regulation, lack of coordination and information flows between different actors, low awareness and poor training were cited as important obstacles for improving energy efficiency. To overcome these barriers, most common public policy measures were ones related to information dissemination and subsidies for energy NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
efficiency retrofits. Other activities that were mentioned were regulations, ecological taxation, subsidies for renewables and research and development activities.[2] Wahlström et al. studies the Nordic market for low-energy buildings (LEBs) interviewing 45 representatives of the building industry. According to the research, in general, the building energy codes for new buildings are considerably advanced in the Nordic countries, but upgrading of the existing building stock is urgently needed. Also, technologies have been developed but they have not yet been widely implemented, and the interviews indicate that more well documented and successful pilot projects are highly needed.[3] Also the results from the NorthPass work package “Overcoming barriers to implementation of very low-energy houses” serve as valuable background information for this study. This work package presents the availability of components needed for very low-energy residential buildings and the report states that most components are available in all researched countries. While the required products do exist in the market the demand for the components remains low and, hence, an improvement in marketing practices is evidently required.[4] PEST analysis is used for creating a marketing approach for low-energy houses in each country. This analysis includes examining the macro-environment of the market which consists of political (and legal) forces, economic forces, socio-cultural forces, and technological forces. The political arena has a huge influence on the regulation of businesses as well as on the spending power of consumers and other businesses. When analysing the stability of the political environment issues such as laws regulating or taxing the business, government’s position on marketing ethics, government’s policy on the economy, government’s view on culture and its involvement in trading agreements should be considered. Factors impacting the economic environment include, among others, interest rates, the level of inflation, employment level per capita, long-term prospects for the economy and GDP. How socio-cultural forces influence the market, varies to a great extent across the country. Therefore, it might be important to consider issues such as dominant region, attitudes towards foreign products, the impact of language on diffusion of products, the time available for leisure, the roles of men and women within the society, the age distribution and wealth of population and the attitudes towards green issues. Examining the fourth factor, technological factor, means paying attention to the possibilities of the technology for cheaper and better production, whether the technologies do offer consumers and businesses more innovative products and services, how the distribution of some items have been changed by new technologies and if technology offer companies a new way to communicate with consumers.[5] In the PEST analysis, all these four environments will be examined but the relevance of each of them will be considered and only the more important circumstances will be contemplated in more details. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 1. The Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological market environments in PEST analysis

Political
Economic

Socio-cultural
Technological
With the help of PEST analysis, different marketing approach propositions will be provided for each country. A suitable marketing channel for low-energy buildings will be explored by evaluating the opportunities that the political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environments already offer. The marketing approach proposal will concentrate on the market opportunities that already exist in each country, but suggestions on how to remove barriers for promoting low-energy construction will also be offered. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4 COUNTRY-SPECIFIC REPORTS
This section contains the country-specific reports on the results. 4.1 Finland
4.1.1 Introduction
Finland is a Nordic country with 5.2 million inhabitants (in 2009) most of which live within a 300 km zone from the capital, Helsinki, located in the south. The share of people living in urban areas was 63% in 2005 and this number has been expected to rise. 66 % of the population belong to the working age group, but this percentage is expected to decrease because of the retirement of the large generations. Because of the urbanisation and the increasing number of aged population, the demand for multi-family houses is expected to increase as well as the demand for accessible buildings with elevators and ramps for wheelchairs. Also the number of people living alone has increased and this trend leads to a growing demand for smaller apartments. Multi-family housing can be funded by a private developer or it can be state-subsidized with ARAVA-loans. Detached houses are usually financed by a private developer. Because of the economic downturn the sales of apartments and single-family houses fell in 2008, and construction of new dwellings decreased in 2009, but the market is expected to recover soon. Also the prices of dwellings fell in the last quarters of 2008 although the prices have risen since then. In 2008, 21% of all energy consumed in Finland was used for heating of the buildings. The energy consumption is decreasing in new buildings but, at the same time, the electricity consumption is increasing. 4.1.2 Market analysis
Several measures have been implemented for enhancing energy efficiency of buildings in Finland. Since 2008, according to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPDB), all new buildings are required to have an energy performance certificate (EPC) and since 2009 the certificate is also required when selling or renting a building [8]. The renewed building code, which came into effect in 2010, requires new buildings to be more energy efficient, and this requirement will be tightened again in 2012 [9]. All new buildings are expected to be near zero energy buildings, and also existing buildings should increase their energy efficiency when undergoing a major renovation. Rising energy prices, taxation of energy, constant debate over the climate change and the increasing environmental awareness among people all contribute to a growing interest in energy efficient construction. In general, constructors seem to be aware of low-energy house and passive house concepts, and energy efficient buildings are considered as realistic alternatives. The estimated additional investment costs for building a very low-energy house is only 5-10% and the average payback period is considerably short, about six years.[9] It has also been estimated that the resale value of energy efficient houses can be 10 – 30 % higher than the value of an ordinary house. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
The state supports energy efficiency improvements, low-CO2 investments and the use of renewables in residential buildings by several means. It offers subsidies for housing companies for the renovation of buildings and subsidies for low-income households covering 25% of the material costs of an energy efficiency renovation project. It also offers a tax deduction possibility for households which are purchasing services and supports the costs when a household installs renewable energy sources. The Ministry of Environment has also launched an information campaign in 2008 in order to inform the general public, professionals and other interest groups about the energy certificate. Information is mainly provided through a web portal available on the website of the Ministry of the Environment but also through a helpdesk service centre maintained by Motiva.[7] The popularity of prefabricated housing has risen remarkably and this might offer important opportunities for implementing low-energy technologies. Another channel for marketing low energy houses are the Housing Fairs organized annually in a different city in Finland. In 2010, the Housing Fair was located in Kuopio and had also a dwelling which was a very low-energy building. Large construction companies such as YIT and VVO have committed to carry out all new construction according to low-energy requirements. Several companies are manufacturing products suitable for low energy houses, and also companies manufacturing prefabricated houses are offering low energy and passive house products. Several passive houses have been constructed in Finland, and these houses serve as successful examples. A new-built passive house in Hyvinkää fulfils the passive house criteria and is cost-effective, and it has increased interest among neighbours and other people. Also the multi-family apartment building in Espoo which has sustainability features has increased opportunities to commercialize new energy efficient products. Another excellent example of ecological construction is the Eko-Viikki project, which consist of several sustainable houses built both by large developers but also residents themselves. The assessment reveals that the area was much more environmentally friendly when compared to a normal area but also that the results depend highly on the people living in the area and their behaviour. These results highlight the importance of information: people living in sustainable buildings should also be guided into more ecologic behaviour. A major barrier for more extensive implementation of energy efficiency in buildings is the scattered field of expertise and information. For example, for an individual constructor it is difficult to obtain information about the building materials and techniques related to passive house construction. To improve this situation, the Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra, has performed a study in cooperation with other actors form the field, aiming to analyse the possibility of creating an energy advising centre, which would provide objective counselling on the energy efficiency issues. The possibility to obtain information about low-energy construction from a single source could facilitate in making a decision to build an energy efficient house. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 2. PEST-analysis of the Finnish very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political Environment:
- The political/legal environment for very low-energy houses is promising: EPBD, Economic Environment:
- The housing prices are rising again, after a short downward trend in 2008. - Rising energy prices and energy taxation are encouraging construction of very low- - Tax reliefs are available when renovating a house. - The Housing Fair and the popularity of prefabricated houses could serve as useful - Large construction companies have already committed to low-energy construction Social Environment:
- Population is ageing and the urbanisation trend is strong. Therefore the demand for multi-family houses and smaller flats are expected to grow. - Environmental awareness and concern of people are increasing. - Better quality of information is needed. Technological Environment:
- Several low-energy houses have been constructed. - Products for low-energy houses are available in the market to a large extent. - Manufacturers do have sufficient knowledge/qualification but contractors do not. Also adequate knowledge of cost-effectiveness is missing. - The lack of skilled builders is a remarkable problem. Typically single family houses are built by the owner-occupier who does not have information about low-energy construction. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.1.3 Marketing approach
- Focus should be on energy-efficient multi-family houses and small flats The number of single person households is increasing because of the ageing population and the changing preferences of people. Therefore the demand of small apartments with easy access (elevators, ramps for wheelchairs) will increase and when constructing these new buildings energy efficiency improvements should be introduced. - The Finnish Housing Fair and the popularity of prefabricated houses The annual Finnish Housing Fair provides an excellent marketing channel for small low-energy detached or semi-detached houses. In the recent years there have been very low-energy houses introduced in the Housing Fair which is an excellent opportunity to receive visibility for low-energy construction. Enhanced education is needed for all different actors who are related to energy-efficient construction, especially to improve the know-how of the builders. Enhanced education regarding energy-efficiency of buildings is needed in vocational schools, polytechnics, universities as well as in supplementary education. Also facilitators or energy advisers who provide services at an early stage of a construction project could help in implementing energy efficiency, if they would have better knowledge. - Spreading, collecting, obtaining information Inadequate information constitutes a remarkable barrier in Finland, as in all countries, and improved processes of spreading information should be introduced. For example information campaigns and knowledge centres might be good channels for disseminating knowledge. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.2 Sweden
4.2.1 Introduction
Sweden is a country in Northern Europe with 9.3 million inhabitants (in 2009), 75% of which belong to the working population (aged 15-74 years old). 6,2% of the workforce is unemployed, and among the youth (15-25 years) the unemployment rate is even higher, reaching 20,2%. In 2008, there were 4.5 million dwellings in Sweden and this number has increased with 458 000 apartments since 1990. Almost 60% of the population lives in detached houses and of these dwellings 72% are owned by the user. The housing stock has been increasing especially in the three metropolitan areas in Sweden (Greater Stockholm, Greater Gothenburg and Greater Malmö). Blocks of flats are usually owned by large investors who are renting the flat to the occupiers. On average, housing costs account for around 25% of the expenditures of Swedish households. In 2007, estimated electricity consumption of an average small house was 6 000 kWh/year. Space heating (including water consumption) accounts for 41% of the total energy use in private houses, 32% in apartment buildings and 27% in offices and commercial facilities. Construction costs for dwellings have increased by 20% in multi-family buildings and by 33% in detached houses between 2003 and 2008. Individuals’ consumption possibilities are related to education in Sweden. Also, people residing in house dwellings usually have larger income than people living in apartment dwellings. It is also noteworthy that the growing number of inhabitants with ethnic background is influencing the housing situation as they demand accommodation for bigger household sizes. Electricity consumption has increased during the last years and is expected to continue growing, and also the energy price has risen rapidly during the last decade. Currently buildings account for 36% of the total final electricity consumption and therefore there is an urgent need to find solutions for savings. Also the economy for energy efficiency improvements in buildings looks good: It has been estimated that 30,000 new jobs will be needed in the construction industry to take care of the needed energy renovations of existing multifamily houses towards 2020 [3]. Electricity heating is the most common way of space heating in detached houses as it is inexpensive and easy. Other, fairly common, ways to arrange space heating in detached houses are a combination of electricity and bio-fuels and the use of heat-pumps. It has been predicted that the growing use of heath pumps and installation of new insulation and windows in old houses could decrease energy demand. In multi-family buildings as well as in office and commercial facilities, district heating is the most common heating method. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.2.2 Market analysis
Sweden has a long tradition in environmental awareness and Swedish people consider recycling household waste and energy saving as important practices, although differences in the environmental awareness exist between income groups, housing forms and different generations. Several policy measures have been introduced in order to improve energy efficiency in buildings. For example the building regulation by the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning includes specific requirements for energy use of the building. The major step towards EBPD was taken in 2006 when a limit for maximum energy use of buildings was defined and major steps towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings were taken in 2009 and 2011.[11] The full implementation of the Boverket’s national regulations for Energy declaration and A/C inspection in Buildings (BED) took place in January 2009 when it was extended to apply to new buildings and all buildings when sold (earlier only official buildings larger than 1,000 m³ and buildings that are rented)[12]. Also tax reliefs and financial supports offered to actors who are incorporating energy-saving measures to construction have facilitated the implementation of energy-efficient solutions in buildings. Interest in energy efficient buildings has increased remarkably, due to several factors. Funds by the Energy Agency Programme invested in passive houses and the obligatory energy certification of buildings in Sweden promote the visibility of lower energy use in buildings. Also Boverket provides different incentives and subsidies for energy efficiency improvements. For example building owners renovating their houses are offered tax deductions of 50%. An information and communication campaign has been introduced, and information for the general public and owners of single family houses as well as real estate agencies and housing companies is provided in Boverket’s website www.boverket.se.[12] Also the Passive house centre in Alingsås, which serves as a platform to collaboration with different stakeholders in the passive house market, has been successful in promoting the passive house concept. In 2009 there were approximately 400 very low-energy houses in Sweden and the number continues to grow. Several companies providing passive houses have also committed to build only energy-efficient buildings in the future. Unfortunately, even if there has been a growing interest in low-energy construction, it is still fairly difficult to find desired components in the Swedish market. The majority of the very low-energy houses are owned by the municipalities but also private owners hold an increasing interest in energy-efficient solutions. The passive house concept was introduced in the South-West Sweden and a large part of all low-energy buildings are located in this part of the country. Also in the Stockholm area and in Northern Sweden there have been low-energy building projects. Therefore the next step would be to make low-energy buildings a standard way of construction instead of starting new demonstration projects. The macro-environment of very low-energy houses in Sweden is summarized with the help of PEST-analyses in Table 3. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 3. PEST-analysis of the Swedish very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political Environment:
- EPBD, an obligatory energy certification of buildings - The majority of passive houses are owned by the municipalities. Economic Environment:
- Energy consumption and prices have increased. - Space heating accounts for 41% of the total energy use in houses for energy efficiency improvements exists. - Tax reliefs and financial support are available for incorporating energy-saving - The fact that blocks of flats are owned by large private owners enables/ facilitates carrying out extensive renovation projects. Social Environment:
- 60% of the population live in (mostly owner-occupied) detached houses. - The housing stock is predicted to grow in the three metropolitan areas. - Environmental awareness has a long tradition. - Increasing amount of people with ethnic background will affect living habits (for - Passive house centre in Ålingsås, information campaign by Boverket. Technological Environment:
- Around 400 passive houses have been constructed in Sweden. - Still difficult to find components in the Swedish market. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.2.3 Marketing approach
- The municipalities should attain more visibility to their successful low-energy building pilots. Because the majority of passive house examples in Sweden are owned by the municipalities they have an important role in promoting very low-energy construction. The municipalities should implement procedures in order to further the knowledge about the very low-energy house concept and to increase the level of knowledge in general. - Focus should be on the growing urban areas (but also detached houses). People tend to prefer living in large cities to a growing extent, and hence, new construction will be concentrated in urban areas. Therefore increasing the interest of builders and other actors involved with urban development, and enabling/facilitating low-energy construction in cities would be important. On the other hand, 60% of people still live in owner-occupied detached houses, and offering solutions for energy efficiency improvements also for these people would be essential. - More information to increase the demand of people. The lack of sufficient knowledge among potential builders of low-energy houses causes a major barrier and especially owner-occupiers of buildings should be informed better about energy efficient solutions. More Passive house centres, such as the one in Ålingsås, could be introduced if this way of spreading information proves to be successful. For enhancing the marketing opportunities for low-energy houses, marketing channels, such as the Finnish Housing Fairs, should be introduced. In this way the concept of low-energy building could be disseminated to a larger audience and the interest of potential buyers/builders could be increased. One barrier in Sweden is related to the lack of proper components in the market and in order to facilitate low-energy construction this problem must be solved. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.3 Norway
4.3.1 Introduction
The population of Norway reached 4.9 million in 2009, and this number is predicted to continue rising due to high immigration. The population is aging with a remarkable speed and the number of people aged 67+ is estimated to double by 2060. The majority of Norwegian households have had a good income growth in recent years although the distribution of income between different groups of the society has become more unequal. The number of dwellings in Norway is 2.3 million (2009), half of which are detached houses. Currently more dwellings are constructed in urban areas (about 34 000 dwellings in 2009) instead of sparsely-built areas (where the number of dwellings decreased with 7 000 in 2009). Members of the Norwegian Association of housing suppliers (Boligprodusentene) provide more than 50% of the dwellings in Norway. The housing prices increased 270% from 1992 to 2007 and prices of flats have risen much more than prices of detached houses with an especially high rise in the capital area. In recent years the electricity consumption has increased and also electricity prices have risen since 2000, which has led to considerations about reducing energy demand of buildings. About 40% of the total energy consumption of the country is used by buildings, and a special feature of energy use in Norway is that direct electric heating accounts for a large share (around 70%) of the heating. 4.3.2 Market analysis
Environmental awareness among Norwegian people is considerably high and more than half of the population consider global warming as a very serious threat. According to a study conducted by the Norwegian association of housing suppliers, 30% of the house buyers chose energy-efficiency measures exceeding the conventional standard. No systematic statistics of passive houses exist but it has been estimated that approximately 10% of new buildings meet the low energy standard. There is also a lack of systematic analysis of the extra cost of low energy and passive houses, but the estimated extra cost for low energy buildings is 500-700 NOK/m2 and for passive houses 1000-2000 NOK/m2 (corresponding to 3-6% of the total construction cost). Several projects which are trying to further implementation of energy efficiency in buildings have led to development of new products, solutions and processes and increased the level of knowledge in general. For example solutions to reduce the air infiltration through the building envelope, windows with significantly improved thermal insulation and also simplified water based heating systems have been investigated or developed. The Research Centre for Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) has started with a project for developing competitive products and solutions for existing and new buildings in order to facilitate the market penetration of buildings with zero emissions of greenhouse gases. The government has tried to encourage low-energy construction by providing financial aid: Both the Norwegian state housing bank (NSHB) and the Norwegian state energy agency (Enova) have recently introduced financial incentive programs for low energy and passive houses [10]. Some legislative measures have also had a considerably large impact on promoting sustainable buildings, for example, with announcing that the energy code for buildings will be revised every 5 years, and that a passive house standard will be implemented as the minimum NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
code requirement within 2020 (or possibly earlier). From July 2010 onwards, all new buildings and old buildings that are being sold are required to be energy labelled. Also the voluntary standard for low energy and passive houses (NS 3700: 2010) has been implemented successfully. Pilot building programs have also had an important input in the promotion of low-energy buildings. These passive house pilot projects, for example the 3-storey apartment building in Bergen (Lovåshagen) and the single-family house in Oslo (Villa Stoknes), serve as successful examples and they have increased the interest in and the level of knowledge about low-energy construction. Also, the City of Oslo has decided that from 2014 onwards, all the new public buildings will be built according to the passive house standard. In Norway, implementation of test and pilot projects are facilitated by allowing grants that can cover up to 50% of the costs. Another important measure has been increasing the construction industry’s competence with arranging courses, seminars and meetings for different actors. Increasing knowledge of different actors in the construction field is essential for promoting low-energy buildings, as well as efforts to raise the awareness of house buyers. 4.2.1 Marketing approach
- Easy finance should be marketed better. Financing opportunities for energy efficient improvements are available but they need to be marketed better. - Focus should be not only on residential buildings in growing urban areas but also single family houses. The trend of housing demand is similar to Sweden and Finland: The future construction will be concentrated in urban areas but at the same time, half of the population still prefer residing in single family houses. Therefore low-energy construction has a large potential in cities where the demand of dwellings will anyways grow, but also single family house owners (who often hold a large purchasing potential) constitute an important target group. - Solutions for all socio-economic groups The income distribution is becoming more uneven and therefore sustainable construction should be marketed also for people with lower income. Cheaper solutions should be created and provided to increase the interest of all socio-economic groups. - Municipalities (like Oslo) could have a remarkable impact on promoting energy efficiency in buildings. The city of Oslo has taken a large step towards low-energy construction and it could serve as an example for other municipalities in Norway (and also abroad). It could also inspire other municipalities in Norway but also other countries to initiate similar actions. - Better statistics and information is needed. The market for low-energy houses is considerably good in Norway but without sufficient and extensive statistics and proper, reliable information it might be difficult to promote energy efficient construction to a larger extent. A similar kind of passive house knowledge centre as founded in Sweden could be useful also in Norway as it could help in collecting knowledge, in collaboration of different expertise in the field and to disseminate information to a wider audience. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 4. PEST-analysis of the Norwegian very low-energy housing market macro- Political Environment:
- The energy code will be revised every 5 years. - The voluntary low-energy and passive house standard (NS 3700) was introduced in - Passive house standard will be implemented as the minimum code requirement in - Compulsory energy labelling since July 2010. - City of Oslo has committed to construct all buildings from 2014 onwards according Economic Environment:
- More than 50% of the dwellings are provided by members of the Norwegian - Electricity consumption has increased and electricity prices have risen in recent years. - Buildings account for approximately 40% of the total energy consumption of the - NSHB provides loans, grants, information and advice for energy-efficient solutions. Social Environment:
- Population is growing due to high immigration and it is aging. - Distribution of income has become more unequal. - Half of the 2.3 million dwellings in Norway are detached houses. Construction of new dwellings will be concentrated in urban areas. - Environmental awareness is considerably high. Technological Environment:
- Approximately 10% of new buildings meet the low energy standard. - Sufficient systematic analysis of extra costs is not available. - New products, solutions and processes in relation to energy-efficiency have been - Construction industry’s competence has been increased. - Successful pilot projects exist and new pilots receive financial support. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.3 Denmark
4.3.1 Introduction
The population in Denmark has increased over the last 100 years reaching 5.5 million inhabitants in 2009. For example in Copenhagen the population is expected to rise by 120 000 people during the next 20 years which will lead to a need of 60 000 new dwellings. The population is expected to increase also in rural parts which already have a large population. The number of working population is 3.9 million of which 2.9 million belong to the workforce. The unemployment rate in 2010 was 8%. There has been a remarkable decline in new housing construction in Denmark since 2006 as the number of annually built new dwellings has dropped from 30,177 to 5,276 (in 2009). Also sales of single family houses and property prices have experienced a remarkable decline in recent years. Private developers have been the most dominant actors in the housing market. Energy prices have increased during the recent years and therefore energy efficient accommodation is economically attractive in the long run. High energy taxes also contribute to high energy prices. Approximately half of the energy consumption of buildings is used for heating, while the other half consists of electricity consumption for a variety of services. It has been predicted that electricity consumption (used for IT and entertainment) will increase rapidly in the future and therefore there is a strong need to focus on electricity savings. 4.3.2 Market analysis
In Denmark, there exists a rather large group of young people who are expected to buy a new dwelling, although income of this group is below the average. Instead, the older generation is having a large opportunity to invest in energy efficient housing. An analysis carried out by Danish Construction Association shows that two thirds of homeowners would like to be fully or partially self-sufficient on energy, and green energy is popular especially among younger homeowners. There have been two events which have increased the interest in low energy houses: the rising of oil price in the third quarter of 2008 and the international climate conference in Copenhagen in the fourth quarter of 2009. Denmark is aiming to be CO2 neutral in year 2050 which will demand a remarkable change in energy consumption of buildings. Several regulations and incentives have been introduced in order to promote very low-energy residential buildings in the country. Energy requirements for new and existing buildings have been tightened and incorporated in the new Danish Building Regulations, BR10 (in 2010), and the regulations will be revised in 2015 (by 25%) and again in 2020 (by 25%). It has also been shown that implementing an individual payment of heat, electricity and water required by Danish law has resulted in decreased consumption of energy (from 10 to 15%). No passive house standard has yet been introduced in Denmark but instead, the German Passive House standard is often used.[10] Building components which are needed when constructing an energy efficient building are available in the market to a great extent. For example different insulation products as well as products based on natural raw materials or recycled products do exist in the market. Despite the possibility to reduce energy costs and the availability of required products the willingness to invest in energy improvement measures remain considerably low. Coordination of knowledge between craftsmen and technical advisors for energy improvements in single NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
family residences is highly needed. Also lack of cooperation and organization across the construction industry have been cited as barriers for the market penetration of very low-energy buildings. The new “Knowledge Centre for Energy Conservation in Buildings” has been established in order to disseminate interdisciplinary knowledge about energy saving measures. Also, several regulations have been established in order to promote energy efficiency of buildings. Other measures for improving the market situation of very low-energy buildings include, among others, funding possibilities for replacing an oil burner with another more environmentally friendly energy source and arranging information campaigns about the importance of saving energy. More incentives for energy efficient solutions and financing possibilities are still needed, the Danish building regulation needs to be tightened and energy labelling of houses should be encouraged with cheaper price and positive incentives (or legal force) [13]. Several passive house pilots have been constructed in Denmark which serve as good examples of successful cases in achieving energy savings. For example the first active house (plus-energy-house) was built in April 2009. Isover has built 10 low-energy houses in close collaboration with actors from the building sector, with the target to be certified after the German passive house standard. Also the existing housing stock holds a large potential for energy savings and different demonstration projects have been launched in which old houses are refurbished into low-energy houses. The macro-environment of low-energy houses in Denmark is summarized with the help of PEST-analyses in Table 5. 4.2.1 Marketing approach
- Young people who demand sustainability should be offered economic solutions. Especially young people in Denmark are highly interested in sustainability and therefore they serve as an excellent marketing target for low-energy buildings. - More information for the older and affluent generations The older generations, who hold a large purchasing power, should be better informed about the benefits of low-energy construction to increase their interest. This could happen by introducing information campaigns directed to the older generations and by taking their living habits and preferences into account when planning advertisements for them. - Financing possibilities, more components and better coordination needed. In Denmark, the path towards low-energy construction is already clear and it is useless to market buildings which do not fulfil the tightening energy efficiency criteria. In order to facilitate and speed up the construction of new buildings which are built according to the regulations, financing possibilities, improved coordination between different actors across the construction industry and better information are needed. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 5. PEST-analysis of the Danish very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political environment:
- Denmark is aiming to be CO2 neutral in year 2050. - Regulations have been introduced (in 2011, will be revised in 2015 and 2020). - Individual payment of heat, electricity and water has led into good results. Economic Environment:
- A decline in the housing construction has taken place since 2006 which has led to - Private developers are the major actors in the housing market which enables rapid implementation of energy efficient improvements. - Young people are in need of new dwellings but the older generation have greater - Energy consumption and prices have increased (high energy taxes). Approximately half of the energy consumption of buildings is used for heating -> A large potential for energy savings within the existing housing stock. Social Environment:
- The population is expected to grow, especially in Copenhagen -> a large amount of new dwellings will be needed in urban areas. - Especially the younger generation is concerned about the environmental issues and they demand energy-efficient solutions in houses. Technological Environment:
- Building components are available in the market but not to a large extent. - Several passive house examples have been constructed. - Coordination of knowledge between craftsmen and technical advisors is needed as well as cooperation across the whole construction industry. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.3 Poland
4.3.1 Introduction
Poland is a Central European country with 38 million inhabitants, although this number is decreasing due to the high emigration rate and a sharp drop in the birth rate. 61.5% of the Polish population live in urban areas although this number is slowly decreasing as well. 71.6% of the population belong to the age group of 15-64 year-olds. The unemployment rate has been considerably high (11.75% in 2011) which has supposedly had an effect on the high emigration rate. The total dwelling stock is estimated at 11.8 million units, and approximately 75% of the dwellings are owner-occupied. A remarkable feature of Polish housing market is that there is a large lack of supply even if since 1996 new dwellings have been constructed with a remarkable speed (for example in 2003 160,000 new dwellings were completed). The housing stock in Poland is relatively young but the quality of construction has been fairly poor. There are also a large amount of concrete-made buildings built during the communist era, and these buildings will need to be refurbished or replaced in the following years. As in many other countries, the average space per dwelling and average space per person have been rising in recent years. New houses are divided into three categories according to the owner and the purpose of construction: There are houses designed for sale or rent (with the aim to receive profits by the investor), houses needed by a natural person and, thirdly, co-operative housing. Housing prices have experienced a remarkable growth, rising more than 150% from 2001 to 2008 (180% in Warsaw area), but the prices took a downward swing in 2008, the trend continuing in 2009. Especially young people are buying apartments, and apartments in the centre or in a location with good public transport access are especially desired. An increasingly important factor of an apartment is the future operation costs (heating and hot water) and this is also the strongest motivation for buying an energy efficient house. The economy of Poland has been fairly strong and it has served as a successful example in the transition from a centrally planned economy to a primarily capitalistic market economy. Poland did not enter the global recession even in the beginning of the 21st century. 4.3.2 Market analysis
In Poland, an increasing interest in low-energy residential buildings has been observed, which is due to the increase in energy prices, low energy consumption of these buildings, higher expectation of the internal environment, increase of ecological awareness and “trendiness” of sustainable buildings. However, Polish builders mostly do not yet consider energy-efficient construction as a realistic alternative and unfortunately there have so far been no government programs promoting the construction of energy-efficient buildings. The number of low-energy dwellings in Poland is difficult to estimate but it can be assumed that for single-family and detached houses from 2 to 5% are energy efficient buildings, and of terraced and multi-family houses the amount is less than 2%. Experts believe that in the foreseeable future the construction of energy efficient buildings will increase moderately. The additional cost of building a low-energy house ranges from 10 to 15% and it can be up to 35% in the case of a passive house. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Technologies and products needed for very low-energy houses are available in the market. There are also companies specialized in designing and building low-energy and passive buildings as well as energy consultants who can assist in adapting normal design building into low-energy standards. Improvements in energy-efficiency have taken place since 1996, and the improvement has been especially remarkable since 2000. It was expected that after implementing the EPBD directive (in 2009) the construction of low-energy houses will be speeded up, but in reality this did not happen. Lipincy Domy serves as an excellent example of a company specialised in designing passive and energy-efficient construction. The pilot project, a small very low-energy house in Wroclaw, demonstrated how this kind of a house can be successful ecologically, technically, socially and economically. The impact on the housing market was enormous as it became popular in Poland and as a result, also other design offices started offering designs of low-energy and passive buildings. 4.3.3 Marketing approach
- Funding possibilities/ financial incentives needed. In order to increase the demand for low-energy houses, not only cheaper solutions, but also creating better mechanisms to support low-energy construction is highly important. The state could have an important role here as it could provide financial incentives (such as tax reliefs and subsidies for the construction costs) for private builders or larger renovation projects of old blocks of flats. Funding possibilities should also be offered to people who incorporate energy efficiency improvements when renovating a building. - Focus should be on the refurbishment of old buildings in urban areas. The old building stock holds a large potential for energy efficiency improvements. Because these buildings are in poor condition and are in need for renovation, improvements in energy efficiency should be incorporated in the refurbishment process. There is special thermo renovation Found for people and institutions who want to renovate their buildings. The minimum energy saving is 25 % and the maximum subsidy is 16 % of the investment cost. Unfortunately there are no higher subsidies for renovation to very low energy standard. - Marketing should be directed to young people who are environmentally aware and Especially young people are concerned about environmental issues and they could be most interested in sustainable construction. The young generation also prefers residing close to the city centre and this preference should be taken into account when marketing low-energy dwellings to them. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 6. PEST-analysis of the Polish very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political environment:
- No government programs have yet been introduced in order to promote low-energy Economic Environment:
- Economy of the country has been relatively strong (even during the global recession). - Unemployment has been considerably high. - Housing stock is relatively young but with low quality. Old buildings from the communist era hold a large potential for energy efficiency improvements. - 75% of the dwellings are owner-occupied. - Especially young people are buying apartments, preferably in the city centres. - Rising energy prices -> future operation costs is an increasingly important factor Social Environment:
- The number of population is decreasing due to the high emigration and low birth rate. - 61.5% of the population resides in urban areas. - Average space per dwelling and per person is increasing. - Environmental awareness has become fashionable. Technological Environment:
- Technologies and products are available in the market (also companies specialised in designing and building low-energy and passive buildings). - Small passive house built by Lipincy Domy demonstrated how a passive house can be successful from the ecological, technological, social and economic point of view. - Building a passive house can be up to 35% more expensive. - There are no official definitions of very low-energy buildings: the energy certification - Different ownership categories should be observed when marketing very low-energy It should be noted that different owners have different reasons for holding an interest in very low-energy construction. As there are three categories of owners and purposes of construction (houses designed for sale or rent, houses needed by a natural person and co-operative housing) each category should be approached in a different way. When a house is constructed in order to bring a high return to the owner, low-energy features should be marketed differently than in the case of an individual builder who is more interested in the comfort of the house. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Even if an increasing interest in low-energy construction can be observed among house buyers, it is evident that an increase in demand will not take place before the prices of very low-energy houses have come down. Cheaper solutions need to be created soon. Single products which are required for low-energy construction already exist in the market but also comprehensive low-energy building concepts need to be developed. The passive house example built by Lipincy Domy was a success and received attention across a large public. More similar examples are highly needed to illustrate the benefits of very low-energy construction and also to disseminate information and increase the interest of people. For example a housing fair (as in Finland) could provide a fine marketing channel for low-energy houses as the buildings would receive broad visibility. In Poland, the state has so far done only very little to promote low-energy construction but as the example of Lipincy Domy shows, the promotion can also take place through actions by private companies and state support might not necessarily be needed. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.4 Estonia
4.4.1 Introduction
In 2009 the estimated population of Estonia was 1,340,415, and the number of privately owned dwellings in the country was 624,530. The astonishing economic growth reached a turning point in 2008 after the international economic crisis. In 2008 the GDP growth rate was negative and also unemployment rate started to increase, especially among young people. Estonia has a long tradition of using hydro and wind power although in 2008 they together accounted only for 1.5% of the total electricity production. The heating energy demand in new buildings has mainly been decreasing while the demand for electricity has been increasing during the last 10 years. The growth of the activity in the real estate market came to an end in 2007 when the downward trend started. Since 2007 construction of new residential buildings has decreased which is due to the rise in construction prices, the decreasing purchasing power, change in economic situation and strict loan conditions of banks, among others. The number and value of transactions have decreased by 45% and 55% during the last 3 years. Although the share of new dwellings with good condition has been growing since 2004, a fifth of dwellings are in need of repair. Also the preferences of size and location of dwellings have changed over the years. The trend of constructing blocks of flats which dominated in the 2000th century has changed and constructing single-, two-family and terraced houses has become more dominant, and therefore the average floor area per dwellings has started to increase again. Still, the share of apartment buildings is 70% of the total residential building stock [12]. 4.4.2 Market analysis
The low interest in energy efficiency in Estonia derives from the country’s long-term belonging to the Soviet Union with minimal energy prices. Although energy prices have underwent a remarkable increase since Estonia obtained its independency, interest in energy conversation has not taken off so far. The annual energy consumption for heating in most blocks of flats is very high, 200-400kWh/m² (while the average of industrialised countries is 150-230 kWh/m²), which means fairly high energy bills. During the past few years the state has implemented some extensive measures to promote energy efficiency in buildings, for example by introducing legislative acts considering energy efficiency criteria, by training specialists and engineers and by holding workshops to raise the awareness of energy consumers. Legislative acts include the law about energy performance certificate (January 2009) needed when constructing or selling a residential building. In May 2010 the directive of the European Parliament and the council about the energy efficiency of buildings was adopted in Estonia, according to which all new buildings from 2020 onwards will have to be almost zero-energy buildings. Other measures to promote low-energy construction have been the establishment of Kredex (The Credit and Export Guarantee Fund) in 2001 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications which aims to raise the competitiveness of Estonian enterprises and improve living conditions (also supporting energy efficient construction or reconstruction) by providing financial solutions. The EU program Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) enable financing for activities and projects promoting energy efficiency, and also Swiss Contribution NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
is developing sample buildings with low-energy solutions. Different benefits are provided also to the residential sector when implementing energy efficiency improvements (for example the grant for an energy certificate, loans with low interest rate, tax relief for home renovation loans) [12]. The state also serves as an example itself by favouring energy conservation projects and by taking energy conservation objects into account in its daily activities and procurements. Despite high energy prices and a few attempts by the government to promote energy efficiency in buildings the interest in energy conservation still remains low. The high prices and the lack of information about the benefits of very low-energy buildings still constitute a major barrier for the growth of the demand for energy efficient residential buildings. On the other hand, Estonian constructors do have the know-how about constructing a low-energy building as they do carry out construction projects abroad. The income distribution between different socio-economic groups has become more uneven and only the affluent part of the population has the possibility to invest in energy-efficient solutions while the situation of the middle class is deteriorating. Because the prices are still considerably low, also house buyers from abroad (Sweden and Finland) are interested in the housing market. Also the construction sector is responding slowly to the problems caused by high energy prices and to the requirements which Estonia has committed to fulfil by the year 2020. Designers and engineers are considerably old fashioned and not willing to learn about new technologies. To improve the situation (the lack of interest by both buyers and constructors), increasing the level of education, information and improving the awareness about the benefits are undoubtedly some of the most important measures. There has been only one very low-energy building in Estonia although this case serves as a successful example. The kindergarten Kaseke, situated in the municipality of Valga in the Southern Estonia, is being reconstructed by using the principles of energy efficiency criteria and best possible indoor climate. All the solutions are economically feasible and they correspond to the passive house standard. The energy consumption of the building has dropped from 250 kWh/m²a to 15-17 kWh/m²a. The project has received a grant of 1.08 M EUR from KOIT (Investment Donations Programme for Local Municipalities), a programme of the Estonian government while the total cost of the project is estimated to reach 1.45 M EUR. This pilot project has received a great deal of attention and many different actors have shown interest and asked for information about the project. Some other developers already have started to plan their own low-energy project inspired by this pilot. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 7. PEST-analysis of the Estonian very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political environment:
- EU directive instructs new buildings to be close to zero-energy buildings from 2020. - State provides financial aid for energy efficiency improvements and also serves as an example itself by implementing energy saving actions. Economic Environment:
- Estonia has suffered from the global economic recession (negative GDP growth rate, - A downward trend in the real estate market has been taking place. - Energy consumption in old blocks of flats is extremely high -> a large potential for energy savings with renovating the buildings. - Funding possibilities from Kredex, IEE, Swiss Contribution (for public sector - Interest in LCC has grown but it will still take time to implement LCC considerations Social Environment:
- Nowadays people demand single- two-family and terraced houses (although, at the moment, 70% of dwellings are in blocks of flats). - Also people from abroad buy houses from Estonia. - The income distribution is becoming more uneven. - The level of education and information considering sustainable construction is low. Technological Environment:
- One low-energy building has been built (kindergarden Kaseke) and this serves as a - Designers and engineers are old-fashioned. - 50 % of dwellings are in need of repair. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.4.3 Marketing approach
- Incorporating energy efficiency improvements in the renovation of old buildings. Large amount of old blocks of flats which are in considerably bad condition form a barrier for a rapid implementation of low-energy construction practices. Although these buildings hold a large potential for energy efficiency improvements, renovation will be fairly expensive. On the other hand, because approximately 50% of old dwellings are anyhow in need of refurbishment, energy efficiency improvements could be incorporated in these activities. - Marketing low-energy houses for new buyers. Preferences of people have changed and now single- two-family and terraced houses are demanded. Therefore there exists a large potential buyer group for low-energy houses and marketing should be focused on them. This target group consists mostly of the more affluent population group as well as people from abroad who are currently interested in buying houses from Estonia. - Financial aid and more information needed. The state has an important role in spreading information and it already has implemented actions to some extent. Funding possibilities and financial incentives do also exist but they should be marketed better to potential builders. - More passive house demonstration projects and examples about cost-effectiveness are It is evident that without decent successful examples the interest in low-energy construction will be extremely difficult to be raised. More examples, such as the low-energy kindergarten, also within the residential sector are needed to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficient solutions. These examples could be taken from other countries with similar climate, or the examples in other countries could encourage starting with demonstration projects in Estonia as well. Also the fact that in Poland low-energy construction has been initiated by the private sector, and not as much by the state, might encourage the private sector in Estonia to implement same kind of actions within low-energy construction. Information about cost-effectiveness and cheaper solutions are needed, and also in this, Poland could provide examples. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.5 Lithuania
4.5.1 Introduction
Population in Lithuania reached 3.33 million in 2009 of which 47% belong to the workforce. Almost one fourth of the population are pensioners, although about 14% of the pensioners still continue working. Around 8.3% of the workforce is unemployed. Prices of dwellings have been falling since 2008, simultaneously with the economic stagnation and frozen credit market, but a return to growth has been forecasted. Lithuania suffers from a fairly high debt rate (28.3% in 2009) which makes economic recovery even more difficult. Nevertheless, the Consumer Confidence Index has begun to rise again. Citizens of Vilnius hold the largest purchasing power, and the purchasing power is generally higher in cities than rural areas. The Housing Affordability Index, which was extremely low until the beginning of the 21st century, underwent a downwards swing in 2005 when the housing prices began to rise sharply, but started to grow again in late 2009. Approximately 66% of the Lithuanian population live in multi-apartment buildings which were constructed between 1960 and 1990, and 97% of the housing stock is privately owned. 68% of the population live in urban areas. The demand for new houses has been growing since 1999 as people want better living conditions, and the size of the housing stock as well as the useful floor space per capita has been growing since the 1990s. The main prospects of housing construction are that the construction of single-family houses will grow, the demand for semi-detached houses in the suburbs will increase and that the rising prices of new dwellings make the renovation of an old building an attractive option. 4.5.2 Market analysis
The EPBD was first implemented in 2007, and in 2009, the last phase of the implementation was reached. An energy performance certificate is now mandatory for all new buildings and when existing buildings are rented or sold. When multifamily buildings are renovated, they need to follow The Rules of the Programme for Refurbishment.[12] Several thousand Soviet-era buildings in Lithuania are in need of renovation for better energy efficiency and different programs have been introduced to facilitate the process. Lithuanian Housing Strategy aims to renovate 70% of the dilapidated multi-apartment buildings by 2020, and reduce the cost of heating energy up to 30%. The objective is to help owners of the flats in multi-family buildings, with creating financial and other support, to modernise the buildings and to increase energy efficiency and reduce heating expenses. Other government supported programmes for improving the energy efficiency of buildings are The National Energy Efficiency Programme 2006-2010, Special Programme for Implementation of Energy Saving Measures, Programme for the Modernization of Multi-family Buildings. It has been estimated that if Lithuania would renovate its apartment buildings, schools, hospitals etc. by converting them into passive houses, it would lead into 80% savings in thermal energy use. Several seminars, workshops and communication campaigns have been organised in order to increase the level of information among municipalities, specialists, professionals of the building sector and the general public.[12] NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Since 2000, 24,000 buildings have been constructed in Lithuania but only few of them are passive. There have been different renovation projects which serve as good examples: The Vilnius city housing renovation programme “Renovate the housing – renovate the city” has shown that in the renovated houses the energy costs have been saved because of the proper insulation, formation of mould has been prevented, the external view of the house has significantly changed, the price of real estate has increased, the living conditions have improved and the operation of the house has been facilitated. Nevertheless, because there is a lack of data or a legal definition of the concept, Lithuanian citizens must turn to the experiences of other countries. It is evident that to promote passive houses in Lithuania more available information and knowledge as well as state support are needed. Table 8. PEST-analysis of the Lithuanian very low-energy housing market macro- Political environment:
- Lithuanian Housing Strategy aims at renovating 70% of the multi-apartment - The National Energy Efficiency Programme 2006-2010. - Programme for the Modernization of Multi-Family Buildings. Economic Environment:
- Lithuania has suffered from the global economic crisis (a high debt rate). - 97% of the housing stock is privately owned, 60% of it are in multi-family buildings. Social Environment:
- Almost one fourth of the population are pensioners. - Citizens in Vilnius and other cities have the highest purchasing power. - 66% of the population live in multi-apartment buildings (constructed between 1960 and 1990) of which several thousand are in need for renovation for better energy efficiency. - 68% of the population live in urban areas. - Demand for single-family houses and semi-detached houses in suburbs will grow. - Lack of data, information and knowledge. Technological Environment:
- The Vilnius city housing renovation programme has illustrated the benefits of a NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.5.3 Marketing approach
Because people prefer living in urban areas, and also because population residing in the cities holds the largest purchasing power, there is a remarkable market potential for new low-energy houses in cities. Especially single-family and semi-detached houses in the suburbs of large cities are demanded and low-energy construction possibilities should be marketed to people who consider buying houses in these areas. - The state should facilitate the renovation of multi-apartment buildings. In Lithuania, the state has already done much to aid refurbishment projects of old blocks of flats and supporting energy efficiency improvements which could be incorporated in these projects. The state is therefore having an important role in promoting low-energy construction and these activities should be furthered in the future as well. - Interest in energy efficiency of designers and engineers should be increased. Even if the state has taken the initiative towards low-energy construction, to a large extent, also different actors in the construction sector should be encouraged to implement actions related to energy efficiency improvements. - State should offer more support and provide a legal definition of the concept. Without a legal definition of the concept of low-energy or passive building remarkable development within energy efficient construction will hardly be obtained. The awareness of potential buyers should be increased through information campaigns and other measures. Improved knowledge and increased demand could be attained through successful pilot projects which would illustrate the benefits of low-energy construction (as in the other Baltic States as well). NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
4.6 Latvia
4.6.1 Introduction
The population of Latvia is 2.24 million. The majority (67,9%) lives in cities although this number has decreased during the last decades. Another problem considering the population is the growing share of people belonging to the aged (65+) group. The global financial crisis has affected Latvia profoundly: During the first three quarters of 2009 GDP decreased by 18.6% and the most remarkable decline in economic activities were in construction, trade and manufacturing sectors. Unemployment has increased and in 2009 it was 15.9%. Construction and trade of residential and industrial buildings has decreased by 70% but instead, the construction of many state-owned buildings has increased. The prices of apartments decreased by 35% in 2008 and the housing construction volume by 36.8% in the 3rd quarter of 2008 compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year. Compared to other European Union Member States, households in Latvia are the smallest, also with the smallest number of square meters per person. More than 71% of the housing stock in Latvia was built in the period of 1945-1990, and therefore buildings are out dated with low heat resistance and bad insulation. From total energy consumption of buildings, heating accounts for 65-80%, hot water for 15-25% and electricity for 1-2%. 4.6.2 Market analysis
The implementation of the EPBD started only in 2009 and today the energy performance certificate of a building is necessary when the building is being sold or rented.[12] At the moment there are no official low energy building definitions or guidelines in Latvia but semi-official definition for very low energy building is provided by the Passive House Latvia association. The Latvian building code LBN 002-01 describes U-values according to which new buildings should be built. Until now, there has been no regulation about the management procedures of residential buildings which has led to fairly poor quality. In 2009, the Law on Residential Building Management was adopted and it is planned to define the minimum requirements for ensuring energy efficiency of residential buildings. Since 2009 apartment owners can receive co-financing from the state and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the improvement of heat resistance of multi-apartment residential buildings and this might help to promote sustainable and efficient use of energy resources. Currently, the Ministry of Economics is forwarding a new draft of Construction Law and one of the aims of this Law is to promote rational use of environmental and natural resources and conservation of environmental quality. Also, in April 2009 amendments in the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers General Construction Regulations were implemented and this led to requirements to incorporate calculations of energy efficiency in the technical project of the building. Only few very low-energy buildings have been constructed in Latvia and also profound studies about these project are missing. Lack of knowledge, data and real passive house examples constitute barriers for the increasing interest in low-energy solutions. Several components and solutions required when constructing a very low-energy building (such as NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
good windows, high efficiency recuperation systems and good doors) do not exist or are hard to find in the Latvian market. Even if the situation looks fairly bad, there are still some signs of positive development: a few future low-energy building project have been presented, and because of local activities, such as conferences and articles, there do exist a growing interest in low-energy solutions among both users and real estate professionals. Also, more grants are available for energy efficient buildings, provided by the Green Investment Scheme (GIS). One remarkable benefit is that the economic downturn has influenced consumption habits of the population, leading into more sustainable lifestyles. Currently, new solutions and offers from construction sector are needed, especially because of the increased demand of good quality. Also the downward trend of the construction sector has had some positive aspects: Normally, during a strong construction boom the current business as usual model ensure a high return and there is no urge to innovate and no time to develop new strategies. But during a period of low activity, there is more time to learn and search for new market niches. Also, in the past two years, new engineering and architect networks with similar goals such as Passive house Latvia, Latvia association of energy auditors, Latvian energy efficiency association and Green houses have emerged.[10] Even if there is a lack of proper examples of passive houses in Latvia, a few low-energy buildings that have been constructed are still promoting the reputation of sustainable buildings. A single-family low-energy house in Gipka, and also a 9-storey apartment building which was renovated in 2009 with improvements in energy efficiency, serve as excellent examples and surely increase the interest in sustainable construction both among users and professionals. 4.6.3 Marketing approach
As Lithuania, also Latvia comes across a similar problem; without a legal definition of the concept of very low-energy or passive building remarkable development within EE construction will hardly be reached. Also more political activities related to low-energy construction are needed. - More examples to demonstrate the success of low-energy construction needed. More successful examples and case studies are needed in order to promote low-energy houses and increase the interest among house buyers but also suppliers. Private companies should be encouraged to take an initiative in this (as in Poland) and they could have a more important role. Also product manufacturers and suppliers should be activated in order to get more required products and components to the market which would facilitate the construction of low-energy buildings. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
Table 9. PEST-analysis of the Latvian very low-energy housing market macro-environment. Political environment:
- Law on residential Building Management (2009). - Funding for apartment owners from European Regional Development Fund and - No official low energy building definitions or guidelines. Economic Environment:
- Latvia has suffered from the economic crisis (decreasing GDP, high unemployment - Housing construction volume has decreased - More than 71% of the housing stock was built between 1945 and 1990, and these - Heating accounts for 65-80% of the energy consumption of buildings potential for improvements in energy-efficiency. Social Environment:
- The aged population group (+65 years) is growing. - More sustainable lifestyles are appreciated, an interest in low-energy construction exist among buyers and real estate professionals. - There is a strong demand for better quality of housing. Technological Environment:
- Several components and products for very low-energy houses do not exist in the - Only a few passive house examples (a single-family low-energy house in Gipka, and NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
- Financial help needed for renovating old blocks of flats. As in other former Soviet countries, also in Latvia the large share of dwellings in old blocks of flats hold a large potential for energy savings, and the refurbishment (which would include improvements in EE) of these buildings could be speeded up with more financial help from the state. - The recent poor economic situation offers more space for creativity. During an economic downturn companies face a problem as the willingness of people to purchase products is lowered. On the other hand, slower economic activity provides companies with an opportunity to be more creative and introduce new product concepts to the market. Especially because people demand better quality of buildings, there is a market opportunity that can be focused on even during an inferior economic situation. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
5 CONCLUSIONS
The eight countries examined in this study differ from each other to a large extent in terms of political environment, state support, availability of very low-energy houses and products needed for construction, environmental awareness and the level of knowledge. Therefore suggestions on how to market low-energy buildings vary across these countries. In the four Nordic countries state support and requirements for energy efficiency as well as environmental awareness of people are considerably high. In all these countries very low-energy residential buildings already have entered the market and several companies are committed to or interested in energy efficient construction. In these countries finding proper marketing channels and spreading information in order to increase the demand of the house buyers are the essential next steps. For example in Finland the annually organised Housing Fair as well as the popularity of prefabricated houses could be utilized more efficiently for marketing purposes, and other Nordic Countries could try to follow the Finnish example. Coordinating knowledge and facilitating cooperation across different actors is also important, and measures have already been implemented in some countries. In the Baltic countries and Poland the situation is considerably different and a distinctive marketing approach is needed. In some of these countries environmental awareness of people is still low and only few very low-energy pilot projects might exist. Therefore the first stage would be to increase the level of information and interest in energy conservation among people and promote the very-low energy building concept among real estate professionals. The activity of the state varies a lot: In some Baltic countries there have not been any (or only few) government projects so far whereas in other countries the state has taken an active role in renovating old blocks of flats from the Soviet era. On the other hand, in Poland, introducing very low-energy houses has been initiated by the private sector. The most famous example is Lipincy Domy, which built a passive house which received a large amount of visibility across the country and encouraged also other companies to take energy efficiency into account in construction. This could serve as an example also for the Baltic States which do not have enough of decent examples or available data about passive houses. Even if some funding is provided for energy efficiency improvements in buildings, more financial support is still needed. Also legal definitions about the passive house concept and proper guidelines are essential in all these countries. In some of the countries, especially in some of the Nordic countries, the state has taken an active role in promoting low-energy construction with implementing extensive projects or committing to decreasing energy consumption and CO2 emissions to a certain level. In these cases the state is a frontrunner who encourages and speeds up the process of moving towards very low-energy construction. Even if this has proven to be successful, in all societies a similar state-led development would not be possible and the changes need to be initiated by the private sector (or the demand of people). Nevertheless, the state needs to be involved to some extent, for example to administrate funding, allow tax reliefs or encourage banks to allow grants related to energy efficiency improvements. The fact that in some countries very low-energy buildings have already reached a considerably good position in the market is advantageous for countries with an inferior situation. The latter countries might facilitate the promotion of low-energy houses by implementing measures and marketing channels that have already proven successful in other countries. On the other hand, some measures which have functioned in one country might not NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
be successful in another with a different political, economic and social environment, and in these occasions learning from the success in other countries will not be possible. Despite the differences across the countries some similar measures are still needed everywhere. It seems that providing a suitable social environment with raising the awareness of people is one of the most important actions in all countries. Also coordinating knowledge and facilitating cooperation across different actors is essential for establishing a functioning economic environment for the very low-energy housing market. Introducing legal requirements about energy efficiency and defining legal concepts for low-energy construction would be important for creating a suitable political environment whereas a decent technical environment should be obtained by bringing necessary products and expertise to the market to a sufficient extent. NorthPass Country-specific market analysis, success factors, marketing approach, and market situation
6 REFERENCES
[1] Intelligent Energy Europe, Promotion of European Passive Houses, Passive House [2] Tuominen P. and Klobut K. Deliverable 3.1 Country Specific Factors – Report on Findings in WP3. European project on consumer response to energy labels in buildings. Intelligent Energy Europe. [3] Wahlström, Åsa; Andresen, Inger; Thomsen, Kirsten E.: The Nordic market for climate friendly buildings – status, barriers and opportunities. ECEE 2011. Summer Study. Energy Efficiency First: The Foundation of a Low-Carbon Society. [4] Lund University. Components for very low-energy residential buildings on the North European building markets. NorthPass. Deliverable 10. Lund University. [5] http://www.marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-pest.html. [6] Johnson Gerry, Scholes Kevan: Exploring Corporate Strategy, third edition. New York, Prentice Hall. 1993. [7] Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Featuring Country Reports [8] http://www.epbd-ca.org/Medias/Pdf/country_reports_14-04-2011/Finland.pdf. [9] Ymparisto.fi. Rakennusten energiatehokkuusdirektiivi http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=120444. [10] Barriers to implementation of very low energy residential buildings and how to overcome them. NorthPass. Intelligent Energy Europe. Lund University. 2010. [11] Implementation of the EPBD in Sweden. http://www.buildup.eu/publications/16142. [12] Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Featuring Country [13] IDEAL EPBD. Deliverable 3.1 Appendix I. Barriers Reported by the Member States,

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