Evaluating Environmental Performance in Low-Carbon Energy Systems [E-BOOK]

Case 7 - Renovating standard houses (1 million Euros financing different energy efficiency levels)

In Case Study 6, the investment costs and environmental payoffs of newly built houses were compared. In this case study, the renovation options of a standard house (see Glossary and parameter settings in Appendix) will be compared both in terms of the environmental benefits obtainable with the investment of 1 million Euros in each case.

Two alternatives are considered: in scenario (1) the standard house will simply be equipped with a gas condensing heater, the Best Available Technology among fossil fuel-based heating systems; in scenario (2) the standard house will be renovated with additional insulation and equipped with gas condensing heater.

While one option represents a very economical but short-sighted approach, the alternative represents a financially more burdensome, yet far-sighted approach. The question addressed here is whether the lower investment costs can compensate for the higher consumption in the use phase of the standard house versus the newly insulated house.

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