Energy-efficient renovation in a single-family house

In Finland, living costs usually account for a significant part of your budget if you live in a single-family house. By improving the energy efficiency of your home, you can lower your heating and energy costs. An energy-efficient renovation is also a good way to minimise your carbon footprint.

Five ways to improve the energy efficiency of a single-family house

  1. An air-to-water heat pump uses the same kind of technology as air source heat pumps. It takes heat from the outside air and transfers it to a water-based heating system. Air-to-water heat pumps are suitable for any residential and commercial properties with water-based heating systems. ​ 
  2. Ground source heat pumps are suitable for any residential properties with water-based heating systems. They extract solar energy stored in the ground or water and save you money on your heating bills. Ground source heat pumps also have a cooling mode. 
  3. Your heating network includes all radiators and pipework in your home. Heating pipes last for 25–30 years on average. If your home was built in or before the 90s, you may need to upgrade your heating network. ​ 
  4. A significant amount of heat is lost through the roof in a detached house. Insulating your loft or attic is an effective way to reduce heat loss and your heating bills. You can use blowing wool insulation, for instance. 
  5. Photovoltaic systems have become more and more affordable, increasing the interest in micro-generation. Solar power is clean energy and the technology is nearly maintenance-free. With solar power, you can be more energy self-sufficient and prepare for possible fluctuations in electricity prices.  

Financial support for energy efficiency improvements

Receiving an energy subsidy requires that no other public funding has been granted for the project. ​ 

If you have been granted an energy subsidy, you are not allowed to claim the tax credit for household expenses for the same renovation project. You should therefore calculate if it makes more sense to apply for the energy subsidy, tax credit for household expenses or some other subsidy that may be available to you.​

The government-funded energy subsidies are allocated not only to the energy-efficient renovations of detached houses but also to those of housing companies and non-profit organisations. Read more about energy subsidyOpens new window

Did you know that...?

  • In Finland, the main use of energy by households is for heating their homes. 
  • Energy efficiency improvements save both money and the environment.  
  • In addition to doing good for the planet, homeowners may also benefit from increased property value. 

Energy saving tips for your summer cottage

  • Use renewable energy sources, such as small-scale wood combustion and an air source heat pump. 
  • Consider a solar power system for your holiday home.
  • Recycle and compost. Composting rewards you with fertile soil for your vegetables and plants. 
  • Use public transport when travelling to your summer cottage. 
  • Use local services in the area. This could allow you to cycle, walk or ski short distances to the shops. 
Mökki saaristossa

One in two Finns hope that their future home will have a green heating solution with energy-efficient building design.

A survey by Nordea, December 2021

Tips for planning an energy-efficient renovation

There’s no one-stop shop solution for major renovations or improvements so look carefully into your options and the technical possibilities.  

Contact several construction companies to see what they can offer. When hiring your builder, you can tell a lot by the customer service and support they provide: do they understand your needs and goals, give you guidance and show you different options? 

Remember to conclude all works contracts and acquisition agreements in writing. Agree on the schedule, compensation for possible delays and warranties also in writing. Request equipment and system training. 

If you want to make energy efficiency improvements to a residential building occupied all year round, you can apply for an energy subsidy from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) for renovation projects carried out in 2022. Read more on ARA’s website. Opens new window

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An energy-efficient renovation saves on costs, increases the value of your housing company, reduces the charge for common expenses and therefore saves the homeowners money.

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Loans to improve your property’s energy efficiency

A renovation improving energy efficiency is a worthwhile investment. The value of your property increases as the energy-efficient renovation reduces the maintenance backlog as well as running costs.

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