Government to introduce energy-saving rules, advice

The government is preparing a package of energy-saving measures, in the form of compulsory restrictions at public buildings and advice for households and businesses, plus subsidies and incentives contributing to energy efficiency.

Air conditioning systems at public buildings and ministries will need to be set at a minimum level of 26 degrees Celsius in summer and not above 19 degrees in winter, according to the measures. Also, lighting restrictions will also be imposed for idle rooms at public buildings.

Similar measures had also been introduced for the 2004 Athens Olympics, to overcome serious grid instability and sufficiency concerns.

Households and businesses will be given a series of recommendations, all aimed at preventing energy wastage.

These recommendations will include lower driving speeds, more walking, bicycle usage, self-imposed establishment of car-free days, lower heating-system temperatures in winter, avoidance of electricity consumption during peak-demand hours, as well as no heating and lights in unused rooms.

The government is also preparing new energy-savings programs in the form of subsidies and incentives.



Details imminent for next energy-efficiency subsidies offer

The latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of homes is just about ready. Its details will most likely be announced next week by energy minister Kostas Skrekas in preparation for a launch of the applications platform in September, sources have informed.

The new edition will aim for energy efficiency upgrades of 50,000 homes and investments totaling one billion euros, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou informed during a speech at a recent TEE (Technical Chamber of Greece) event.

As has previously applied, applicants will need to submit plans upgrading the energy-efficiency ratings of their homes by three levels, determined by a points system, in order to qualify for subsidy support.

A revised appraisal system will be introduced. It will factor in the degree of energy savings promised by respective home upgrades as well as a points system with factors such as regional climate conditions; existing energy-efficiency ratings of buildings; age of buildings; as well as income levels of applicants combined with social criteria such as unemployment records, disabilities and single-parent family status.

Saving at Home subsidy platform restarting following improvements

The Saving at Home subsidy program supporting energy efficiency upgrades of properties is set to be relaunched on January 25 after being suspended for two weeks to make technical improvements to its online platform accepting applications.

A severe imbalance in the processing of bids prompted the intervention.

Larger-scale professionals of the building industry, such as big civil engineering firms backed by specialized software, were able to achieve collective and swifter processing of their applications, blocking out, as a consequence, bids lodged by individuals or smaller professional firms.

Application deadlines for the remainder of regions around the country still not serviced have been deferred by two weeks.

Interested parties in the east Macedonia and Thrace region may lodge their subsidy applications as of January 25. The online platform opens for west Macedonia residents on January 27, property owners in central Macedonia can submit applications as of January 29, while interested parties in Thessaly can lodge bids as of February 1.

The category for apartment blocks opens February 3 for the entire country.

Energy efficiency upgrades subsidy platform facing delay

The launch date of a latest Saving at Home subsidy program for energy efficiency upgrades of existing properties may be delayed beyond its scheduled November 2 date as a result of increased technical and administrative demands concerning the preparation of this program, expected to be broadened and feature new categories, authorities have noted.

The possibility of a delay in the launch of the subsidy program’s latest edition was also suggested by energy minister Costis Hatzidakis in comments to local radio station Thema 104.6 FM.

All efforts are being made for a launch of the latest subsidy program in early November, the minister noted.

The online platform used to facilitate applications for previous editions of the Saving at Home subsidy program is being rebuilt with technical support from the Hellenic Development Bank.

The new Saving at Home subsidy program, whose budget will total 850 million euros, will offer energy efficiency upgrade subsidies of up to 85 percent.

Roof-mounted PVs, energy storage systems, smart home systems and electric vehicle recharging facilities will be added to the new program.


Expanded energy efficiency upgrade program planned

A new subsidy program for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, to replace a preceding Saving at Home model in autumn, will feature more ambitious objectives than those set in the National Energy and Climate Plan, be constantly open for applicants, carry greater capital, and apply for a wider range of energy efficiency interventions, including smart home technology installations, deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas has pointed out in an interview with Greek daily to Ethnos.

Over the past decade, some 130,000 homes were upgraded at a cost of 1.3 billion euros, but a swifter rate will be sought through the new subsidy program, the minister noted.

The achievement of national energy policy objectives will require some 60,000 domestic energy efficiency upgrades per year and approximately 8 billion euros in funds until 2030, Thomas explained, adding that Greece will seek greater capital amounts through the EU recovery fund.

“Due to the requirements created in the context of the recent macroeconomic conditions and forecasts, we are working on a modern and much more ambitious framework to reinforce household energy upgrades for a transition to a support system offering energy upgrades and autonomy,” Thomas noted. “The new program is a direct government response to the post-pandemic era, the aim being to boost economic activity in domestic value-added sectors such as construction, manufacturing of building materials and solar systems, and also strengthen households by reducing energy costs.”

An even wider base of households will be eligible for the new subsidy program, while increased subsidy rates will be offered if predetermined energy efficiency targets are achieved by interventions, he added.


Income upper limit for ‘Saving at Home’ subsidy program raised to €80,000

An existing household income upper limit of 50,000 euros needed for qualification into the “Saving at Home” program, offering subsidies to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, will be increased to 80,000 euros for the program’s imminent next offering.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis is expected to announce the subsidy program’s revised terms, widening the pool of eligible parties, during the day.

The latest “Saving at Home” program, offering subsidies or interest-free loans for energy efficiency upgrades, is expected to be launched on July 12.

The new package is believed to be worth a total of 270 million euros. Applicants will be able to receive as much as 25,000 euros for their energy efficiency upgrades.

The “Saving at Home” program offers financial support for window and window pane replacements; installations or upgrades of external wall insulation systems; heating and cooling system upgrades; as well as RES-based water heating.



Co-funding with banks ‘needed to reach EU energy savings target’

Co-funding in association with private banks for environmental upgrades of houses and buildings will be necessary if an EU energy savings target of 32.5 percent by 2030 is to be achieved, European Commission officials believe.

EU subsidy programs, alone, cannot suffice to cover the annual cost, until 2030, of environmental upgrades around the EU, estimated at 170 billion euros, Brussels officials have noted.

The European Commission has established partnerships with 45 European banks committed to extending home loans incorporating extra amounts for energy upgrade work.

The European Commission also plans to support energy upgrades of public buildings.