Flats owners are beginning to think more actively about photovoltaic panels. However, they primarily consider them as a collective investment, which needs to be discussed at the owners’ meeting and approved. Meetings in residential buildings thus serve as an important forum for owners, where almost everyone participates in discussions and the acquisition process. Decisions are often in the hands of the governing body, chairman, or management organ.
Almost four in five owners (79%) state that the atmosphere of their meetings is at least good, and a solid majority (86%) usually feel happy with the decisions adopted at the meetings.
„These findings shows, that even though sometimes in Czech environment are the meetings of unions of owners covered with aura of something stressful, it is false expectation mostly. According to respondents, in reality they are mostly able to find solution which satisfy all.” says Martin Philipp, analyst in STEM.
There is (usually) a potential for investment. About one in five respondents state that their block of flats is in good condition. Two in three (65%) believe the condition is satisfactory, but some things are no longer suitable. One in ten (13%) say that their house is in such a bad condition that it needs a major or complete renovation.
To sum up, the weatherisation of blocks of flats is getting more and more widespread , while other investments are not necessarily in the works . Therefore, there is a hypothetical room to reorient the capital of blocks of flats towards other kinds of investment.
Common production seems to be interesting and expirience with it good
Only a small share of flat owners (3%) currently own PV panels. Moreover, these are often installed elsewhere (a family house, a recreational house…) than in a block of flats. However, one in five people (20%) have at least had an indirect experience with photovoltaics. Although many owners do not have direct experience with it, 68% of the owners view photovoltaics positively. Approximately half of them also declare that they have at least a general idea of how the principle of electricity production from panels works.
Owners majorily (89%) find the technology interesting and a similar number (87%) find it important for the future. PV is also (contrary to possible expectations) not considered dangerous (85% consider it “safe”).Additionally, 84% of owners find it environmentally friendly and trustworthy (79%).
„Výrazně slaběji ale majitelé hodnotí dostupnost technologie a její cenu. Fotovoltaika se tak ve společnosti potýká s aurou nedostupnosti a nálepkou drahé technologie“
„On the other hand, owners evaluate accessibility of the technology, and its price significantly less. Photovoltaics thus faces the aura of inaccessibility and the label of expensive technology in society.“ says Martin Philipp, analyst in STEM.
Common energy production within a blocks of flars is an interesting topic for most owners, even though they lack in-depth technical knowledge. The majority of apartment owners do not have direct experience with photovoltaic panels on residential buildings, but the concept of collective energy production has captured the interest of 85% of the respondents.
Photovoltaics is primarily percieved as an investment
Research has identified 4 fields of motivations and barriers which correspond with electricity sharing topic: Economic, Safety and security, Personal-administrative and Environmental dimenzion.
Economic arguments seem to be the strongest. Owners mostly agree that through common energy production, they can save costs, and they consider it to be very important as well. At the same time, they perceive that photovoltaics by itself increases the overall value of the house. The aspect of return on investment is also important, but still, around three-fifths (60%) of the respondents in total stated that more important things should be addressed on the house before installing a rooftop power plant.
Safety and security contains two levels of interpretation. This means the safety of the technology and its ability to contribute to the flat owners’ independence from external electricity suppliers (local independence) and foreign countries (global independence). Contributing to independence from foreign countries strongly resonates among the owners. Concerns about company fraud or panel fires are not as significant barriers.
In person, the agreement with neighbors and administrative aspects are perceived as barriers to acquiring photovoltaics. While the majority of owners are in favor of adopting the technology and also find it appealing, 70% of them stated that they don’t believe they would come to an agreement with their neighbors.
When it comes to considerations about a collective photovoltaic power plant, environmental aspects are less important to owners. Owners see their contribution to environmental protection more as a „pleasant bonus“. However, in the case of residential buildings, technology is significantly more economically perceived than environmentally.”
Sociological research conducted using the focus group method, known as ‘triads’ (meetings of 3 participants and a moderator), consisted of a total of 5 sessions. The participants were apartment owners in residential buildings, and one triad included only members of the governing body (SVJ and BD*). Emphasis was placed on ensuring that residents from all regions and settlement sizes were represented when selecting participants.
The survey was conducted between May 28th and June 3rd, 2023, on a representative sample (N = 612) of the population of apartment(s) owners in residential buildings. The data collection method was online surveying (CAWI). The data corresponds with publicly available information from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) and the Ministry of the Environment (MŽP). Therefore, respondents’ answers can be considered representative of the opinions of the population owning apartment(s).
Martin Philipp, analyst, STEM