The public response to an upcoming subsidized program supporting domestic heating system conversions to natural gas from fuel, announced last Thursday by the Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, has been overwhelming.
Consumer interest for new heating gas connections skyrocketed by 330 percent in the wider Athens area and 250 percent in Thessaloniki over the one-week period following the minister’s announcement, based on the number of telephone enquiries made and visits paid to EPA – gas supply company – branches by interested parties. Highlighting the level of consumer interest, this heightened activity precedes the subsidized program’s official launch. Besides Athens and Thessaloniki, the robust household interest has also generated a considerable response in Thessalia, located in the mid-northeast.
Based on forecasts, 30,000 households in the wider Athens area, 7,000 households in Thessaloniki, and 9,000 households in Thessalia, are expected to benefit from the subsidized program. EPA companies currently operate in these three parts of Greece.
The program, whose available budget amounts to 15 million euros, has earmarked 10 million euros for the Greek capital and its surrounding areas, two million euros for central Macedonia, in northern Greece, and three million euros for the Thessalia region. These funds are expected to be absorbed within weeks of the heating switch program’s official launch.
Based on the minister’s announcement, properties owned by interested parties – houses or flats in apartment blocks – must be located in areas valued no more than 2,500 euros per square meter, according to tax office evaluations, and on roads covered by the natural gas distribution network. No other conditions, such as income criteria, have been announced. The subsidy program is expected to cover as much as 60 percent of the total conversion cost for each household. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, until the available funds have been absorbed, according to Maniatis.