OPENGELA – Home retrofits beyond Energy Efficiency


The project OPENGELA aims to demonstrate how home renovation goes beyond Energy Efficiency savings. The focus will be on regeneration of deprived districts with One-Stop-Shops that will provide advice and support to low income homeowners and social housing tenants in the form of neighborhood offices.

The project´s Kick-off meeting (KOM) was held in Bilbao last 20th and 21st of May 2019. This was the first official meeting held after the start of the project on the 10th May 2019.

At the meeting, partners expressed a deep interest in the implementation of a local program to improve home’s energy efficiency and comfort. However, the lack of financing, technical knowledge and complexity of the works prevent citizens from renovating their homes. Accessibility, habitability, comfort, social vulnerability, structural needs are all factors that OPENGELA considers important for citizens when it comes to home renovation works. As a result, OPENGELA will go through the design and coordination of district offices, their legal and financial setup as well as tools for validating professionals and contractors and engaging the citizens.

The project will develop two pilots with rehabilitation agreements for 240 homes in Otxarkoaga and 221 in Txonta where buildings date from 1950, lack elevator installation and thermal insulation. On this note, the KOM provided the partners with the opportunity to visit the pilot district of Otxarkoaga. Viviendas Municipales guided the partners through the district, which included a visit of a housing unit/stock where the deficiencies and renovation needs were seen in situ. This visit showed concrete examples and testimonies from experienced partners. It highlighted local initiatives already in place and needs to be covered through the project OPENGELA.

Participatory and transparent procedures will be applied through personalized attention of the neighbors and residents who will come to these neighborhood offices.

Overall, OPENGELA activities attempt to manage more than just the financial side and physical renovation of the building, looking to include a strong social component on the house renovation sphere which will improve the lives of hundreds of people.

Stay tuned to follow the developments of OPENGELA and visit the project’s webpage!