Saving energy with "single-family house contracting"

Saving energy with "single-family house contracting": developing of standardized modules for energy saving measures, evaluation methods for proving the quality of the measures, model contracts and marketing-strategies.

Short Description

A primary goal for Austria's Kyoto strategy is the thermal refurbishment of single family and two family housing built in the period from 1945 to 1980. In space heating alone, 4 million tons of CO2 should be avoided (Austria's Strategy for Attaining the Kyoto Goal, June 2002). Approximately 450,000 homes are in need of repair. According to a study by the GDI - the Association of Insulation Industry -, the Danube University Krems and the University of Klagenfurt, the costs for thermal refurbishment (insulation, new heating furnace) are 15,000 euros on average. This investment is amortized within seven to 14 years due to lower energy costs. However, the economic potential has been realized only sporadically, despite the advantages of such a general remodelling.

The project team's goal (team consisting of the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology, Energy Tyrol, the law firm of Unterweger, Bitsche & Einwallner, the Association of Insulation Industry and the Climate Alliance Austria) was to develop a model for contracting services for individual homes. Based on experience with energy performance contracting involving particularly public authorities, it had to be examined which elements could be used in the realm of individual housing as well, and which adaptations needed to be made. Furthermore, the first steps for the market introduction of "energy performance contracting for single family homes" had to be made in the course of the project.

Basis for the definition of the service model were:

  • Insights gained from in-depth interviews with home owners and potential service providers (needs, expectations and general conditions);
  • Results from workshops with experts concerning specific questions with regard to transferring the contracting model to the homeowners (contractual guarantees, particularly energy performance guarantee, pooling); as well as
  • Results from a marketing workshop (product and market definition).


  • Tools for the contractors for the original assessment, planning and execution of energy contracting for individual homes (refurbishment of the building envelope and domestic technique, user training, environmentally sound refurbishment, check lists for the making of the contract) which were summarized in the planning manual;
  • A quality assurance model EQS (Energy Quality in Refurbishment, based on the existing EQ model of Energy Tyrol) for the certification of refurbishment quality;
  • A workflow plan with the definitions of interfaces of the participants (home owners, contractor, EQ certification authority and executing companies);
  • Information brochures for contractors and clients; and
  • A marketing concept till 2010 for the service positioning.

Based on these results, pilot projects ought to be carried out which should be a model to imitate and should also help to test the concept and tools, and, if necessary, to optimize them. As a continuation, the project team will carry out such a pilot project and will provide information to the targeted groups.

Project status


Project Partners

Project leader

Monika Auer
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik - ÖGUT
Hollandstraße 10/46
A-1020 Wien
Tel: +43 (0)1/315 63 93-17
Fax: +43 (0)1/315 63 93-22

Project partners

Gemeinschaft Dämmstoff Industrie - GDI (Werkvertragspartner)
Klimabündnis Österreich (Werkvertragspartner)
Energie Tirol (Werkvertragspartner)
Dr. Josef Unterweger (Werkvertragspartner)