CLEAN has been a part of consortium behind education Better Housing Consultants in Denmark. The Better House Scheme started because of growth plan Denmark 2013 to make energy saving effort more efficient. The Better House concept is also the Danish answer of how to respond to the Danish renovation strategy and the target of reducing the energy use in single family houses in Denmark. The data from this scheme has contributed to REFURB mapping.

50% of all the energy use in houses in Denmark is used in single-family houses (Danish Energy Agency, 2013). “Better Houses” – is a one stop-shop counseling through all of the building process. It is an initiative form the Danish Energy Agency, which has been inspired from the English Green Deal but with no financial dimension. The scheme runs from 2013-2016 and includes education of Better Houses Consultants, which can guide homeowners in prioritizing a holistic and hopefully deep refurbishment, gradually. This initiative is financed by the Danish Energy Agency. The scheme is a voluntary and market driven system, which promote refurbishment of private residential buildings. The goal is to remove barriers and make it simpler/easier and manageable hos house owners, create a scheme that house owners can trust. The initiative consists of education of “Better Houses” consultants, national marketing campaign and meeting/workshops with stakeholders that can support the initiative. Those stakeholders are financial consultants, real estate consultants, and municipalities, DIY etc. The supply side think the demand side need advices that are more qualified.  In Denmark, there is a focus on training the good ambassadors and post educate master craftsmen and energy consultants to be Better Houses consultants. A national supported program from the Danish Energy Agency called Better Houses is based on principles on making it easier for the homeowner to get through the energy renovation process with a 1-stop shop concept. The homeowner has the possibility to find an educated and qualified energy educated “Better Houses” advisor that can guide the homeowner through the renovation process. The Better Houses consultant offers a screening, a Better Houses Plan (based upon an energy check-up and calculation of energy savings in a very well recognized on-line tool) and guidance through the renovation process. The initiative will continue until the end of 2016 with digital marketing, cooperation with local stakeholders and support of local events. Education of more Better Houses consultants will, from the end of 2015, be on market conditions without financial support from the Danish Energy Agency.

The whole idea of Better Houses with a step by step and holistic approach to energy renovation is good. The education of Better Houses Consultants as green ambassadors is brilliant as well as all the supporting tools, building guides and marketing materials at the website are brilliant. It is also a success, that there have been 140.000 unique users on About 30 % of them came directly to the website by writing “BedreBolig”.

However, there is a lack of willingness to support the municipalities to local implementation.

A municipality has financed around 75 % of all the 500 Better Houses Plans partly or fully. Subsidies are needed in order to finance the Better Houses Plans. There is a need to communicate the options in the Home-job plan and the possibility here to get a reduction in the price for a Better Houses Plan and a Better Houses renovation project.

The results from two test municipalities showed that 35 % of the homeowners, that got a Better House Plan, chose to carry out a refurbishment project with investments 10.000-25.000 EUR. This is 30-80 % of the recommendations for investments in the Better House Plans, which in average is 32.000 EUR. This is much less than the investment needed for NZEB, which might be the double investment. The conclusion for empowering NZEB renovations are, that a more attractive compelling offer than the Better House scheme, has to be developed and subsidies have to follow the offer.