Information for housing companies

The energy efficiency of nearly all residential blocks of flats in Helsinki can be improved in way that is financially beneficial for the affected homeowners.

A large proportion of the maintenance expenses of housing companies consists of energy consumption, i.e. the heating of rooms and household water and building electricity. Typically energy and water form 30-40% of maintenance expenses. In best cases, improving energy efficiency and adopting new energy solutions can help housing companies reduce their heating costs by up to 60%.

The adoption of geothermal heat or a heat recovery system, for example, does need to be carried out as part of major renovation works, as these types of measures can be cost-effective on their own and do not require residents to temporarily move out. That said, major renovations also provide excellent opportunities for improving energy efficiency.

An energy renovation project can often be carried out in a housing company charge-neutral manner. What this means is that the housing company charge (yhtiövastike) does not need to be increased due to the renovations, and the renovations will eventually start providing cost savings.

1. General meeting

Decide on the commissioning of an energy efficiency survey at your housing company’s general meeting.

This is the first step towards finding a financially viable solution. For a block of flats, an energy efficiency survey usually costs a few thousand euros, which is a minor investment in relation to the eventual savings.

2. Energy efficiency survey

Commission an energy efficiency survey and identify the most effective measures for improving energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency surveys are carried out by multiple service providers, and their scope can vary. The City of Helsinki’s energy experts provide impartial guidance on the commissioning of energy efficiency surveys.

3. Planning

Utilise the results of the energy efficiency survey and prepare a plan for improving the energy efficiency of the housing company.

After planning the renovations, submit an application for financial support to ARA. Any subsidies granted are paid after the renovations.

4. Tendering and realisation

Invest in the most effective measures and plan the work with a professional.

The City’s energy experts provide support to housing companies in the process, but housing companies are still responsible for the actual ordering, realisation and payment of renovations.

The housing company’s board of directors plays a key role

A housing company’s board of directors is generally responsible for the housing company’s matters. The board of directors implements the decisions made by the general meeting. The board of directors and the property manager can usually also carry out minor actions without a decision by the general meeting, provided that the action can be carried out within the framework of the approved budget.

Ideally, housing companies should organise their property maintenance and repairs in a systematic manner. Shareholders and residents should be provided with ample time to influence the content of repair projects and prepare financially for the realisation of projects, for example. There are plenty of tools available to support systematic property management, and energy efficiency matters should be incorporated into the housing company’s long-term planning.

The tasks of a housing company’s board of directors include monitoring the energy consumption of the building and deciding on related measures. It is also important to inform the shareholders of the housing company about the significance of energy costs so as to facilitate smart investments in energy efficiency. The proportion energy costs account for in the maintenance charge is also information that is of interest to shareholders.

Would you like advice or for an impartial expert to participate in your housing company’s board meeting? The City of Helsinki provides housing companies with free-of-charge help at the different stages of energy renovations. Read more »

Energy renovation – what, why and how?

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Material for energy renovation