Case study: heating bills differ by two times between adjacent residential buildings

The residents of two adjacent residential buildings on M. Riomerio Street in Kaunas receive different bills for heating – the bills paid by the residents of one house are half that paid by the residents of the other house.

These four-storey houses of approximately 1 500 m2, each containing 32 flats and built in 1962 are quite identical. The only difference that sets each of them apart occurred last year, when the house No 5 underwent full renovation.

According to Šarūnas Eidintas, the representative of Civinity, a provider of administration and maintenance services for households and other types of buildings, and CEO of Būsto Valda, before the renovation both houses had the same energy efficiency rating ‘E’. In his words, the reasons of heat loss of both houses were also similar: the heat was lost due to transmission through walls, the roof, windows, slabs above unheated basements and the underground part as well as the outdated heating system, i.e. linear thermal bridges.

Following the renovation of one of the buildings at the end of last year, its energy efficiency rating was upgraded to ‘C’, with the residents seeing a drop in heating bills of about 45-55%.

“Before the renovation the dwellers of the building No 5 on M. Riomerio Street consumed even a higher amount of energy compared to their neighbours living in the building No 3. For example, in January of 2015, the coldest month of the year, the residents of the currently renovated building, consumed 32 000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, compared to 22 000 kWh consumed by their neighbours,” said Eidintas.

Today, the situation has changed dramatically. The heating energy consumption of the non-renovated building made up nearly 28 000 (kWh) in January of 2017, while their neighbours living in the renovated house consumed just 15 500 (kWh).

The representative of Civinity pointed out that the renovation improved heat saving, by preventing heat loss through all leakage paths: heat loss through windows was cut by a whopping 84%, through the heating system by 41%, the roof 22%, and walls 16%. Total heat consumption per one square metre of a residential area decreased by 42%.

“The renovation of the residential building involved the repair of the roof, the insulation of external walls, the replacement of all windows, balcony and stairwell doors, balcony and loggia glazing, the reinforcement of structures, the upgrade of the ventilation system, and the heating and hot water systems. The flats were also equipped with individual heat meters,” said Eidintas, when talking about the renovation works carried out in the residential building.

The representative of Civinity said that the building No 3 on M. Riomerio Street is also going to undergo full renovation next year and will generate the same energy saving as the neighbouring house.

According to Eidintas, the reduction of energy bills is not the only benefit of renovation. It should be noted that the value of a flat in a renovated building may increase significantly. In his words, many residents of renovated buildings are delighted with an improved appearance of their house, which inspires them to spruce up the surrounding environment.

“Renovation tends to build the sense of community among residents – they get into groups and take new initiatives. The most desirable works that residents are willing to perform after renovation include: the facelift of stairwells and mail boxes, the improvement of the surrounding area, the installation of underground waste containers, and even the formation of a land plot and the fitting of a traffic lifting barrier,” pointed out Eidintas.

Civinity Group owns the following household administration and maintenance companies in Lithuania: Senamiesčio Ūkis, Ozo Miestas, Būsto Valda, Debreceno Valda, Vitės Valdos, Klaipėdos Bendrabutis, Palangos Butų Ūkis, Kretingos Būstas, and the following household and commercial building administration and maintenance companies in Latvia: Hausmaster, SIA CS Komercserviss, SIA Home Master, SIA Labo Namu Agentūra, SIA Jūrmalas Naimsaimnieks, etc.