Wüstenrot Bausparkasse AG

Wüstenrot survey: Homeowners drive energy transition

The willingness of domestic homeowners to invest in energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies for the production of hot water, heating, electricity or thermal insulation is currently growing strongly. According to a recent study by Wüstenrot*, almost 50 percent of all homeowners are currently considering installing a system for the generation of renewable energy in the next two to three years. Inspired by the comprehensive government support programs, the move to the political goal of an almost climate-neutral housing stock could succeed in the coming decades.

The first priority of the planned measures is the installation of a photovoltaic system if it is multi-named, and one in four homeowners wants to tackle this investment in concrete terms. This is followed by the installation of an electricity storage system, the installation of a solar thermal system (13 percent) and a heat pump (10 percent) with just under 20 percent. Finally, a significant percentage is still covered by the issue of biomass: six percent of the owners are considering installing pellet or logs heating.

Bernd Hertweck, CEO of Wüstenrot Bausparkasse: “The results of our survey are encouraging that the energy transition in the residential sector is progressing. That’s a good sign.’

Two-thirds of the final energy required in buildings in Germany is accounted for by residential buildings and is largely needed for heat (heating and hot water), air conditioning and lighting are rather negligible. More than 80 percent of the residential building stock is owned by private homeowners, which are thus the most important players for the implementation of the energy transition in the real estate sector. Correspondingly large leverage effects are therefore based on their projects.

Hertweck: “The results of our survey are in line with the data on the use of the various government funding programmes, so that we can speak of a certain trend overall.” In the KfW support programme 151 (renovating energy efficiency – efficiency houses), investment volumes increased by 180 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year, while in the funding programme of the Federal Institute for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) “Heating with Renewable Energies” the number of funding applications even climbed by 190 percent year-on-year to 110,000. In about half of the cases, the newly introduced replacement premium for oil heating was also requested.

Energy-conscious homeowners also have a high affinity for electric cars

One of the most notable results of the Wüstenrot study is the disproportionate willingness of energetically active homeowners to buy an electric car. While among all the homeowners surveyed, only about 20 percent think of buying a semi-electric or all-electric vehicle, the percentage of owners of a photovoltaic system is almost twice as high at a remarkable 38 percent. Owners who are specifically planning investments in energy efficiency also come up with values well above the 30 percent mark. Hertweck: “Obviously homeowners who want to invest in energy efficiency or have already done so are “persuasive offenders”. This is good news for climate protection and resource consumption.”

* Methodology of the study: Nationwide representative panel survey by the GMA Society for Market and Sales Research among 1,015 homeowners of single- or two-family houses. Survey period: 20 to 26 October 2020.