Boosting energy retrofits in condominiums

Approaches for local authorities to facilitate change

Condominiums or private apartment blocks are a complex building segment for retrofit projects. This guide describes how to overcome barriers in order to speed up the retrofit process. Municipalities and regions play a key role, providing a dynamic framework that encourages co-owners and professionals to tackle the energy performance of multi-apartment buildings with more self-confidence and audacity. It is their role to raise awareness of the demand side (co-owners, building manager, in-house project team, retrofitting coach etc.), improve skills of the supply side (building professionals, financial experts) and facilitate the interaction between all partners.

This guide is based on the experience gathered via the ACE-Retrofitting project. The core conclusion by all partners is that there is no one blueprint for success and this guide presents the different approaches chosen and tested by each organisation. However, there are still common success factors and the guide provides an overview of them, illustrated by very practical examples from the six pilot cities. It also describes pitfalls that other beginner local authorities should avoid when starting a condominium retrofit strategy or policy. One important take-away: local authorities are strongly advised to work simultaneously on all aspects of the complex chain of actors instead of focussing on just one of them. Let’s illustrate that by a simple story: Imagine a team of public servants that spend years working on convincing condominium owners to vote for works.

Once this is done, they realise that there are no service providers available to carry out the work, or that the financial offers are not advantageous. Or, even worse, they manage to have the works carried out, but realise at the very end that they are done poorly. This is not only a waste of resources in the past, but it is also going to make it difficult to convince other condominiums to follow suit.


  • Introduction
  • Why is energy retrofitting in condominiums a challenge?
  • New facilitation methods: ways out of the condominium inertia
  • Caring for the homeowner side: support strategies
  • The private building sector: filling the skills gap and federating professionals
  • Linking homeowners and building professionals
  • The way forward

Who is this guide for?

If you are working in a public (local or regional) authority or in an energy agency, this guide will help you understand your work with condominiums. Public support programs are very much needed to accelerate the retrofitting of condominiums in Europe. Local authorities or energy agencies are the right facilitators of the process, both for co-owners as well as for experts from building-related professions.

The guide will soon be available in French, Dutch and German.