Insulating houses is particularly worthwhile if this is done together with the renovation of the facade or roof that the owners had already planned to do anyway.

What we do is if the outside of the building is going to be renovated in any case, it certainly makes sense to improve the building’s energy performance, for example by including additional layers of insulation. Additional insulation reduces the heating losses and thus significantly enhances the level of comfort in the building. Insulating the shell of the building has the greatest impact on costs if it is combined with efficient and smart home technology (heating, ventilation, control). In many cases, it does not cost much to use renewable heat, and the climate derives an additional benefit from this.

Furthermore, measures like independent energy advice (e.g. on-the-spot advice from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control) can furnish the owner with important information about how economic it is to renovate the building.

Depending on the state of the building, insulation measures which are carried out irrespective of other work which has already been planned, can also be very economical and pay off quickly. This includes the insulation of the cellar ceiling, the ceiling of the upper floor and the hot water pipes. And when windows are replaced, energy efficiency is an automatic additional bonus. After all, there are no windows on the German market today which offer a poor energy performance. The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) requires that all new or replacement windows must meet good energy standards. People carrying out particularly energy-efficient measures (e.g. windows with triple glazing and highly thermally insulated frames or energy-efficient heating) can obtain funding via the KfW’s CO2 building renovation programme. Funding is granted only if a qualified expert on the List of Energy Efficiency Experts confirms that the energy-related planning and the execution of the measure is undertaken correctly. Furthermore, in the case of extensive renovation work, KfW funding can be granted towards assistance e.g. with monitoring the execution of the construction work.

Thermal insulation, high-quality windows, energy-efficient heating and ventilation generate numerous advantages for owners of houses and flats: when buildings are properly insulated, they save energy and money, and guarantee comfort - both in winter and in summer. Due to the higher surface temperatures, the insulation has the fortunate “side effect” of preventing the formation of damp and mould. However, it is important that, when a building is renovated, the need for ventilation is checked by an expert. Air apertures or mechanical ventilation equipment can ensure that the necessary air exchange takes place. It may also be necessary to factor in their maintenance and follow-on costs.

In any case, improving the building’s energy performance increases its value.