Energy renovations of EU multifamily buildings: do current policies target the real problems?

Panel: 5B. Cutting the energy use of buildings: Policy and programmes

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Kaisa Matschoss, University of Helsinki, Consumer Society Research Centre, Finland
Bogdan Atanasiu, Buildings Performance Institute Europe, Belgium
Lukas Kranzl, Energy Economics Group, Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives Vienna University of Technology
Eva Heiskanen, National Consumer Research Centre, Finland


The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) require ambitious policies for existing buildings. One important aspect of policy design is to understand the decision making of building owners and investors. Governments can support such decisions with grants, but public funds can only cover part of the investments. Hence, schemes need to be well-designed to stimulate the market and support sustainable market transformation. However, funding is not the only issue and there are other structural barriers. This is particularly the case for owner-occupied multifamily housing, where the governance and dynamics of collective decisions are major barriers to energy renovations. Our paper focuses on decision making on energy investments in owner-occupied multifamily housing (condominiums) in Europe. Condominium-type ownership is the dominant form of ownership of apartment buildings in most New Member States. It is also dominant in Southern Europe and widespread in other countries (Austria, Finland). We build on work done in the IEE project ENTRANZE (, which develops policy recommendations for increasing the number of near-zero energy renovations. Our data include a comprehensive review of the structures of decision making in nine European countries, expert interviews, and detailed analysis of the drivers and barriers of energy investments. We highlight similarities among countries, along with significant differences. These differences are further explored via 3 country studies on the legal, institutional, financial and social aspects of energy investments in condominiums. Finally, we assess the overall relevance of these barriers in selected EU Member States by combining the investigation of barriers with quantitative data on the structure of the building stock, the share of condominiums and related governance structures in different countries. ERRATA Table 1 has been updated from the printed proceedings, as well as a number in the section ”Barriers to energy investments ...” regarding Austria.


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Download this paper as pdf: 5B-235-13_Matschoss.pdf