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Total Concept - project presentation

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Total Concept

A method presenting economic rationales for major reduction of energy use in non-residential buildings



Total Concept, an Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) project,  offers a method and a financial tool that can provide the information required by establishing an informed platform for decisions about investments in energy-saving measures.


Energy renovation of non-residential buildings – a wise investment In existing non-residential buildings energy savings can often be achieved by improving the building climate shield and the performance of HVAC systems and other energy consuming technical installations. In addition, changes in user behavior can be effective – without loss of comfort. Owners of existing non-residential properties need reliable information about what measures are cost effective, and what returns can be expected on energy related investments.


Major energy savings involving existing buildings are necessary if EU member states are to live up to the goals set for energy efficiency and CO2 reduction, and is a prerequisite conditions for the shift from fossil energy to the sustainable or regenerative production of energy. Total Concept helps to make this shift both cost-effective and a good business proposition.



The method and the tool in brief


The method applies a holistic approach to work with energy issues in the building with the aim to achieve maximum savings in a cost-efficient way.


  • It includes economic realities a building owner has to take into account, while at the same time increasing the ambitions and making it possible to come much further with improving buildings’ energy performance than with traditional methods.
  • The method is based on an action plan comprising a package of measures that as a whole fulfils the property owner’s profitability requirements.
  • With the Total Concept tool the expected returns on investment of the various identified measures and for the action package can be determined, taking into account different economic lifetimes of the measures.
  • The Total Concept is divided into three steps in a systematic approach covering the entire building process.


Action package


For forming the action package both the single cost-efficient measures (“low hanging fruits”) and more costly measures are considered. What will be included to the action package will be determined in the profitability calculations based on the criterion that the internal rate of return for the whole package fulfils the investor’s demands on cost of capital. The most economically profitable measures will assist the less profitable measures while the complete action package will fulfil the profitability frames set by the building owner. This way of working has shown that total energy savings of more than 50 percent are possible.



A process in three steps


The work process of Total Concept has been structured into three main steps. Each step includes a number of tasks to be carried out and requires a certain involvement from the specified stakeholders and key actors of the method implementation.



For further information, please visit the project's website at the link below.

Additional documents