• The EIB is contributing to modernisation costs with an unsecured loan of €600 million.
  • The interest rate of the loan with a term of 8 years is significantly below alternative secured financing.
  • Rising construction costs and interest rates have significantly changed the framework conditions for investments.
  • Germany's leading private landlord nevertheless wants to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • Vonovia aims to achieve climate neutrality for its housing stock in 2045.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting Vonovia SE's multi-year energy-efficient building modernisation programme with an unsecured loan of € 600 million. The loan has a term of 8 years with attractive interest rates.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who oversees financing in Germany, says: “Together with Vonovia, we are committed to renovating residential buildings to make them energy efficient and thus contribute to achieving the European Union’s climate goals. We are particularly pleased that Vonovia has committed to make its entire housing portfolio climate neutral by 2045, with long-term affordable rents.”

“Rising construction costs and interest rates have significantly changed the framework conditions for investments. The EIB is the ideal partner for our sustainable investment strategy, while also providing very attractive loan terms. It is helping us to make significant headway in achieving our goal of making our building portfolio virtually climate neutral by 2045. This will benefit the climate, our customers and society as a whole,” says Philip Grosse, chief financial officer of Vonovia. An energy-efficient apartment means less energy consumption in the long term and therefore lower energy bills. “This is precisely what matters: protecting the climate needs to remain affordable for our tenants,” explains Grosse, describing the cooperation with the EIB as “extremely valuable.”

The project involves the renovation of rental apartments with the aim of saving substantial amounts of energy. This will be done by insulating roofs and facades and switching to hybrid heating systems that use renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic systems in combination with heat pumps. The financing will also cover energy-efficient new builds, increasing the size of the housing portfolio.

Vonovia is the largest private provider of rental homes in the low to medium price segment in Germany. It has set itself the target of making its portfolio virtually climate neutral by 2045.

The project will help to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings, which account for around 30% of CO2 emissions in Germany. It meets the criteria of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the conditions of the EU Taxonomy for refinancing through green bonds.

The EIB expects the financing to encourage other investors such as commercial banks and capital market investors to start financing the energy renovation of buildings as well.

These renovations bring enormous benefits, such as a significant reduction in the energy consumption of upgraded apartments. This means that rent increases tied to upgrade costs will be more than compensated for through lower heating costs for tenants, providing an affordable way for them to help protect the climate.

Vonovia also uses a decarbonisation tool that digitally maps the entire portfolio and uses algorithms to determine the current and future greenhouse gas emissions of each individual building. This tool digitally benchmarks the emission reductions of each home against the 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris Agreement target, thus determining the ideal time for renovation.

Background information

The EIB’s key priorities are climate and the environment, development, innovation and skills, small and medium-sized enterprises, infrastructure and cohesion. It works closely with other EU institutions to foster European integration, further develop the European Union and promote EU policy objectives in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Vonovia SE is a German real estate group based in Bochum. The company owns over 550 000 apartments in Germany, Austria and Sweden. Its priority is to implement the energy transition in its building portfolio. Back in 2020, Vonovia drew up a climate plan containing binding interim targets on its way to achieving a virtually climate-neutral portfolio.