The sustainability goals of the Paris agreement effects individual citizens and especially home-owners. Not only the environmental footprint, but also the rising costs of energy effect the possibilities and future of citizens. Current solutions such as insulation, alternative energy sources etc. are expensive on an individual scale.
Community and neighborhood-based approach
The local community and neighborhood can be an effective scale and focus for the promotion of energy efficiency. On this scale citizens want and can take responsibility, here they strive towards affordable costs of housing and aim for increased quality of living. On the same scale there are real possibilities to realize energy efficiency, sustainable energy sources and recycling (of energy and other resources). These possibilities provide an excellent laboratory for the development of new products, services and processes. Here local governments can play a logical and essential role in promoting these goals and also to develop new solutions themselves.
New instruments to invest in sustainability
Even when the business case for investment in energy efficiency and sustainable sources of energy, is positive on the long term, many individual home-owners do not have loan facilities to do these investments. We to develop collective energy arrangements, with public guarantees, which overcome these difficulties. Sharing solutions and best practices will also be profitable to the development of solutions inside the different regulatory frameworks.
New products, processes and services
The overall impact of current investment of home-owners in sustainable energy and energy efficiency is limited. The impact and thus the will of home-owners to participate, can be raised significantly when blocks, streets, flats and whole neighborhoods adopt new solutions. This scale asks for new products, services and processes, which can be developed by local SMEs in cooperation with the community and local government.
New adoption strategies
Realizing the scale necessary for impact, not only demands new products, processes and services, it also asks for new adoption strategies. How do we stimulate blocks, streets, flats and whole neighborhoods to adopt new solutions? A key success factor here is the connection of sustainability goals with affordability and improvement of the quality of living.