Just like the other two Belgian regions, the Walloon Region is moving to make the Walloon housing stock energy neutral together with its citizens. For this purpose, the Service Public Wallonie (SPW) had developed three tools, namely the Quickscan, the Feuille de route (roadmap) and Passeport bâtiment (building passport). BE REEL! had a conversation with the man who coordinates these tools: Julien Baudoux.
Julien Baudoux (40) obtained his master's degree in Architecture at the Institut Lambert Lombard in Liège. Since his graduation he has always been an architect by profession. Until recently, because in March 2020 he joined the SPW team, where he coordinates the three tools within the BE REEL! framework. Besides playing board games, he spends his free time mainly practicing sports such as hiking, squash and sailing.
What exactly does your job entail?
“So, as already mentioned, I was hired by the SPW to focus specifically on the coordination of the Walloreno pilot action. In concrete terms, this means that I introduce the Quickscan, the Feuille de route and the Passeport bâtiment, and have them tested in the various pilot cities. I monitor their development and ensure that the objectives are achieved. I also regularly discuss the collected results with all those involved. All of this is, of course, in accordance with the Walloon renovation strategy.”
THE THREE TOOLS
How did the selection of pilot municipalities take place? Which ones are involved now?
“In January 2020, the SPW launched a call for projects to all municipalities. 10 of them have responded. Although I have to say: municipalities is actually the wrong term, because different municipalities work together for some pilot projects. For example, there is the province of Luxembourg, which you can consider as one entity. Gal des Tiges et Chavee (Ohey, Gesves and Assesse) and Greova (Chaudfontaine, Ferrières, Lierneux and Sprimont) are also some sort of umbrella partnerships between different municipalities that you can consider as a whole. The municipalities of Andenne, Écaussinnes, Enghien, Eupen, Flémalle and Ottignies-Louvain-La-Neuve are also involved.”
Can you describe the different tools you coordinate?
“Let me start with the Quickscan. That is a prediagnostic tool that allows citizens to make an initial energetic evaluation of a home and its potential energy savings. It is free of charge and quick. This means there is no intervention of a professional. Based on your answers, the Quickscan generates standardized recommendations to renovate your home in an energy-efficient way in order to obtain an A-label. It is available to everyone on the website monquickscan.be.
Since its launch in July 2020, the Quickscan has already been used 25,000 times throughout Wallonia outside the pilot cities.
The Feuille de route is integrated in the energy audit and is therefore carried out by an accredited auditor. This establishes a personalized renovation process for the house in question, so that that house achieves or exceeds the objective of the renovation strategy, namely an A-label. It shows us which efforts have already been made and which adjustments still need to be done to achieve this goal. The investments have been calculated and by dividing the work in phases you can determine the priorities of what needs to be tackled first in consultation with the applicant.
The Passeport bâtiment is currently still under development. It will be a kind of identity card of the building that brings together all the administrative and technical data about a building. You will find different sections in it, such as an energy section, where you will find information about the EPB certificates, audits, requests for bonuses, and so on. The aim is to maintain and update this throughout the building’s entire lifecycle, so that, if changes occur, it is possible to follow the evolution of the building and the improvements it has undergone.”
Are there already any success stories?
“We are currently still finishing the first test phase of 1,000 quickscans. The results analysis is not yet fully completed, but judging by the feedback we are getting from citizens who have completed the evaluation forms, I think the Quickscan has been well received. I can already give you one result: since its launch in July 2020, the Quickscan has already been used 25,000 times throughout Wallonia outside the pilot cities. I find that very encouraging.”
I would make the energy audit completely free
Imagine: as a policymaker you are allowed to change / draw up 1 policy measure to help achieve your objectives. Which one do you choose and why do you choose it? (You can choose the policy level yourself)
“I would make the energy audit completely free. In my opinion, the biggest problem that keeps citizens from taking action is the lack of awareness. Awareness of the work that needs to be done to improve their energy efficient home. This is often due to a lack of knowledge about the procedures, about which investments they should make, about the defined contributions, the technical aspects, and so on. The Feuille de route responds perfectly to these questions and allows citizens who want to renovate to forge their own path to the carbon-free label with full knowledge of the facts. With an average price of 1000 euros per audit, citizens are hesitant or find it difficult to finance this audit. Even if you give premiums of 660 euros.”
About which hypothesis / theme about energy efficient renovation would you want a study or concrete action to appear and why?
“I would like to see complete and concrete good examples of energetic renovations of homes with materials of biological origin. I note that the expertise of professionals with such materials is currently not optimal or sometimes even non-existent. It is time to consider, develop, promote and use other energy efficient insulation materials that are more in line with the ecology.”
Finally, what do you think the future of energy renovation in Wallonia will look like? Will the tools have achieved their objectives?
“By 2050, all Walloon homes will have at least an EPC label A. The tools will therefore have fulfilled their task perfectly, the other sectors will also have achieved their objectives. Europe will have become greener, the air will be cleaner and the health of its citizens will have improved. Is that utopian? Maybe, but as Oscar Wilde says, "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll end up among the stars."
Thank you for this conversation!
Through this link you go straight to the Quickscan. (in French)