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.