One-stop shops for renovations
One-stop shops offer an integrated solution for home renovation services. The ideal OSS for renovation is imagined as one integrated renovation service that helps the customers throughout the entire process of renovation. The energy cooperatives, partners in the OSR-Coop Project, are offering renovation services through various models of one-stop shops, some focused on advising and others combining advising with a subcontracting role.
In recent years, several OSS service models have been developed across Europe, many of them supported by EU projects. Furthermore, many public bodies, such as ministries or municipalities, have also been developing one-stop shops available to the public and citizens interested in renovations.
Most of the existing OSS models face a number of challenges, according to the analysis done while preparing the framework of the OSR-Coop Project. However, this project is dedicated to overcoming these challenges and paving the way for a more efficient and effective approach:
- Limited capacity to provide a full range of customer support and services to help customers through the complex and time-consuming residential renovation process. Some OSS require a high household financial contribution to provide these services and keep their business model financially viable. Other OSS services that remain free of charge, but depend on subsidies, are only in a position to provide limited service, and not integrated. Recognizing the need for accessible assistance without imposing a significant financial burden on households, this project aims to develop a financially sustainable business model that offers a full range of services.
- Services usually offer a client customer journey designed for one target group, making their approach only attractive to one specific target group. For example, the most optimal renovation service for self-reliant with deep renovation ambition will be very different from the optimal service for less self-reliant target groups, such as dependent retired couples or vulnerable households. In many EU member states OSS services are organized by a governmental structure that leaves many target groups uncovered. The project aims to look for tailored services for all target Groups, including vulnerable households.
- The complexity of OSS is, in many experienced cases, translated into an overly complex CRM (customer relationship management) system with a high focus on data mining and a lot of time spent on administrative tasks. This results in less time spent on delivering guidance and advice to households. The project looks into simplifying the administrative burden and prioritising an efficient and user-friendly customer journey.
- Cooperation and partnership between the services and the contractors that will implement the energy renovation measures is often difficult. The project will promote enhanced communication, ensuring that advisors and contractors align on renovation measures and implementation methods for the household's benefit.
- Many OSS services rely on public funding being available to homeowners to carry out renovation works. The varying rules and regulations associated with obtaining funding, as well as the varying budgets and regulatory challenges in isolation, make it hard to develop a reliable service with the consistent quality of implementation and leave the OSS in a permanent adaptation mode. The project will look into services that designed to be adaptable and resilient, regardless of fluctuating public funding availability.
- Existing OSS can be met with distrust from the side of the household. For instance, regarding the independence of their advice, the quality of the service, and the quality of the work implemented. Cooperative service provides strongly focus on building trust with their members and community. Good practices will be collected and shared.
Cooperatives providing one-stop shop services
Integrated renovation services into one-stop shops operated by energy cooperatives and communities have the potential to deal with many of these challenges. To begin with, the energy cooperatives are owned by citizens and operate locally, providing a stronger dimension of familiarity and care for all the local households undergoing a deep home renovation.
Moreover, by using locally sourced materials to as higher extent as possible and collaborating with local subcontractors, the OSS operated by energy cooperatives can greatly contribute to the local circular economy. Furthermore, the energy cooperatives can easily pair and combine renovation services with other ones, such as rooftop PV installations.
The OSR-Coop Project is looking into all of these aspects, with the aim to create the most optimal OSS models easily replicable by cooperatives across Europe. The vision is to arrive at a renovation service that fully integrates all barriers and steps of the renovation process, including all legal, financial, technical, and practical ones. The project's goal is to get all the insights and steps of the entire process of integration.