In the EU, housing retrofit rates have to increase to about 2.5–3% of the housing stock per year to achieve policy goals. The development of new business models and collaboration of SMEs in a fragmented market is expected to result in an increase in home renovations. This study presents a way to better understand the usefulness of the business model as a market device for collaborating firms for realising home energy renovations, by analysing literature and action research observations. Joint innovation decisions during business model development were traced back for 24 groups emerging from the supply side in five European countries. Commonalities for all groups were analysed to understand the usefulness of the business model. The business model development experiences show that effort is still required to support SME collaboration and to introduce basic marketing knowledge within SMEs, particularly to identify the customer segment and its values and to clarify the effectiveness of existing communication channels. Business models appear to be very useful for collaborative vision formation and networking and for clarifying the need of customer-oriented approaches that include project management and structured guidance of homeowners. However, they do not readily lead to the introduction of collaborative businesses, for which action plan are needed. Collaborating companies are advised to pay specific attention to identifying quality assurance and independent advice for home energy renovations. The research acknowledges the success of action-based research approaches to support collaborative business development and recommends its future use to speed up market development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • Business models, Collaboration, Energy efficiency, Energy renovation, Housing, Innovation

ID: 44964092