Knowing where the shoe pinches: BBH group identifies needs of the housing sector

In addition to their core business, companies of the housing sector must increasingly deal with energy-related matters. The BBH group has carried out a survey to identify the challenges the housing sector faces in this context and how the priorities are set.

The survey by BBH/BBHC concludes that new services and generation concepts will be the major topics of the housing sector, even though the complex regulatory framework, economic issues and a lack of resources inhibit new investments. One solution could lie in the cooperation with municipal utilities as direct contact at regional level combined with tendering procedures for certain services.

“The results of our survey provide an excellent basis for providing the housing industry with concepts and solutions which are tailored to their new requirements,” states BBH partner Ulf Jacobshagen, who was one of the lead advisers in regard to the survey together with BBHC managing board member Marcel Malcher. “Only after finding out where the real problems lie can tailor-made solutions be developed in cooperation with the companies.” adds Marcel Malcher.

According to the survey, the challenge in relation to contracting is identifying the ideal supply conditions for individual buildings. Furthermore, residential quarters as a whole have come increasingly into focus. A large majority of the companies that participated in the survey are already using contracting solutions for heat supply and are interested in cooperating closely with regional service providers, particularly municipal utilities, in relation to landlord-to-tenant electricity supply, billing of heating and e-mobility solutions.

Landlord-to-tenant electricity supply continues to be very popular despite its high complexity and moderate profitability. However, landlord-to-tenant electricity supply models based on photovoltaic systems are still difficult to implement even after the adoption of the Landlord-to-Tenant Electricity Act (Mieterstromgesetz). The danger of losing the trade tax privileges constitutes a risk for the housing sector in this regard.

As regards the billing of heating, housing companies are rather dissatisfied with their current service providers. Nevertheless, only few companies are willing to switch to a new service provider based on the so-called “Liegenschaftsmodell” (from 2021). In this context, municipal utilities can benefit from the synergies in the supply and billing of several types of energy and thus offer attractive solutions to the housing sector.

The lack of incentives is also a reason why the housing sector has so far preferred to focus on its core business instead of investing in energy efficiency measures. Even though reduced energy costs make apartments more appealing, for many companies of the housing sector it is more important to not increase the basic rent (rent exclusive of heating) unnecessarily by new investments in order to remain attractive to the market.

“Based on its long-standing experience in the energy industry, the BBH group is able to assist the housing sector either directly or in the capacity of a facilitator. Furthermore, with our stakeholders group (Arbeitskreis) “Quartier”, we provide companies of the housing sector and of the energy supply industry with a platform allowing a regular and intensive exchange of ideas”, explains Ulf Jacobshagen.

The BBH group is a leading provider of advisory services for energy and infrastructure companies and their customers. Energy and supply companies, particularly public utilities, municipalities and local authorities, industrial companies and international groups are among its core clients. The BBH group advises these and many other companies and organisations in all legal matters and also assists them with business and strategic advice.


Prof. Dr. Ines Zenke
Lawyer, Partner
Tel +49 (0)30 611 28 40-179

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