BetterHomes is an innovative business model which aims to develop cooperation between home owners and financial institutions, enabling financial advisers to better advise their customers on the financing of energy improvement projects.
Objectives and implementation
Based on the products of the four founders, BetterHomes offers organized renovation to improve energy performance and indoor climate, using 3 standardized packages: Energy Package, Comfort Package and Modernization Package. The scheme of BetterHomes (BedreBolig) entails a comprehensive digital one-stop-shop with guidance, training, support and clear deadlines for the homeowners. After they enter details about their homes and energy consumption, they will receive a report and some recommendations on renovation measures and offers from local suppliers.
The aim is to simplify and structure the renovation process for the installer, through supportive and innovative digital tools. There is also a training phase for the installers from the first contact to the finalization of the process in order to help them interact with the homeowners. A single installer is responsible for the whole renovation process and coordinates with the other installers involved in the renovation of the same property. This specific organization allows for better planning, but also ensures that trust is built between those actors. A specific digital platform has been created in the framework of the project, where the installers can share relevant information on the renivation project.
BetterHomes relies on a simple but innovative financial model: there are no payments between BetterHomes and the installers or the building owners. BetterHomes receives its whole budget from the companies at the origin of the project (Danfoss, Grundfos, ROCKWOOL and VELUX Groups). In return, those companies retrieve indirect sale revenues. While BetterHomes and its owners have an incentive to increase the sale revenues of their products, the installers are not obliged to exclusively sell these brands. In the end, the renovation contract is only between the building owner and the installer. There is also an important role for the banks in making the renovation project a reality: The home-owner and its usual bank discuss the renovation plan together, and the bank screens together with them their financial capabilities. They then refers them to BetterHomes, since they trust the quality and process of the model. The bank continues to follow the journey of the clients to assist them with additional financial guidance and support.
In connection with the establishment of the BedreBolig scheme (making it easier for homeowners to renovate their homes by offering comprehensive expert advice throughout the energy renovation process) a calculation program and a report format has been developed. It provides the financial institutions with a solid basis on which to assess the potential savings that could be made in a building and to facilitate the dialogue between home owner and bank.
Network and Operational Capacity
The BetterHomes One-Stop-Shop relies on an expertise network covering manufacturers, installers, project management, financing and training.
In connection with the scheme Bedrebolig, a training course for tradesmen has been set up. Tradesmen, construction engineers, engineers, architects, can train to provide professional advice from the start of a renovation project through to completion.
In Denmark, a network of 3500 installers has been created from 105 organisations, five banks and mortgage providers and four utilities. In the case of Betterhomes, a single installer is responsible for the whole renovation process and coordinates with the other installers involved in the renovation of the same property. The digital platform also plays an important part to share information and create a leaner process.
Key success factors
Up until now, BetterHomes has achieved the acceleration of refurbishment on single-family and multi-family houses in cooperation with financing institutions. Better Homes was profitable after just three years, with 200 projects in 2016 and is expected to continue its growth. The project turnover in all lead channels has been of 85,3 million euros since 2015 (1358 projects). It allows for energy savings of 30-70%.
In order to achieve customer satisfaction, BetterHomes’ key communication does not focus on energy renovation, but on comfort renovation, since energy efficiency in most cases will bring more comfort. there are regular follow-ups conducted with the end-users and this feedback is used to constantly enhance the model.
The project is also specific since, unlike in most OSS, the first inspection of the building is free of charge even if the project does not materialize. This enables a better first meeting, where the discussion can move beyond the focus on costs. By thoroughly explaining the building’s inadequacies and highlighting the multiple benefits of a comprehensive renovation, the building owner is more likely to consider it a good investment.
The model invests time and resources in raising building owners’ awareness. Installers are trained to properly explain why different measures are needed, shed light on the value of additional energy measures and why they are worth the investment costs. The model has been successful in achieving a deeper renovation level 3.
- Publication date
- 21 April 2023