Conditions set for new energy efficiency category subsidies

Four new categories included in the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades at existing properties (photovoltaic systems with net metering; energy storage systems; vehicle recharging units; energy management systems) will only be made available for program applicants if older energy-saving categories (window frame replacement; external wall insulation; heating-cooling systems; hot water supply) are incorporated into applications and, in addition, elevate the energy status of residencies by at least three categories, according to a guide just released by the energy ministry.

The new program will feature offer energy efficiency upgrade subsidies of up to 85 percent and will be made available to virtually all property owners as income-related criteria will be relaxed. For example, families with annual income totals of as much as 120,000 euros will be eligible.

Greater subsidy amounts will also be made available for applicants following an increase of a previous 25,000-euro upper limit to 50,000 euros.

Professionals want more time ahead of energy upgrade offer

Civil engineers and architects, citing inevitable lockdown-related obstacles, are calling for a delay in the launch of the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades and energy independence system installations at existing properties.

The Technical Chamber of Greece, the official technical advisor of the Greek state, could offer an opinion today or tomorrow on whether a delayed launch is necessary.

The energy ministry has not ruled out new dates, in various regions, for the launch of the subsidy program’s platform.

At present, the program is scheduled to start on November 30 in Crete, the north Aegean and the south Aegean. A December 2 starting date has been set for east Macedonia and Thrace. The starting date for west Macedonia is December 4 start and December 7 for central Macedonia. The dates for all other regions are: Thessaly – December 9; Epirus, Ionian Islands – December 11; Wider Athens area – December 14; mainland Greece, Peloponnese – December 16; western Greece – December 18. A January 11, 2021 starting date has been set for apartment blocks.

 

First look at new ‘Saving at Home’ program imminent, launch long way off

A first impression of the latest Saving at Home subsidy program, supporting energy efficiency upgrades of existing properties, is expected within the next few days, possibly by the end of this week.

The energy ministry is preparing to announce details on categories eligible for the subsidy program, sources said.

Even so, the finalized plan is still be a long way off, the sources added, as numerous details need to be resolved before the subsidy platform can be launched.

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

It will offer energy efficiency upgrade subsidies of up to 85 percent and be made available to virtually all property owners as income-related criteria will be relaxed. For example, families with annual income totals of as much as 120,000 euros will be eligible.

Greater subsidy amounts will also be made available for applicants following an increase of a previous 25,000-euro upper limit to 50,000 euros.

In addition, home owners with more than one property will be able to submit multiple subsidy applications. In such cases, a subsidy limit of 100,000 euros is expected to be imposed.

The new subsidy package will also include bonus amounts of 10 percent as COVID-19 premiums.

 

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.

 

Recovery fund support for RES assembly lines, wind farms

Assembly lines for RES project equipment such as cables and pylons, as well as the development of infrastructure to host offshore wind farms, will feature in energy ministry proposals for funding support through the European Commission’s new recovery plan.

The environment and energy ministry, along with all other ministries, have been given until August 24 to submit their proposals to the Prime Minister’s office for project funding support through the European Commission’s new recovery tool, Next Generation EU.

The proposals from all ministries will then be shaped into a national plan that will then be delivered to Brussels in October for approval.

EU funding support for RES-sector assembly units and offshore wind farm infrastructure would come as an addition to other eco-friendly initiatives taken by the energy ministry, including a third round of subsidy support for domestic energy efficiency upgrades through the Saving at Home program; upcoming subsidies for electric vehicle purchases; green economy investments; and grid network development.

Thoughts for the development of RES equipment assembly lines in Greece had first been aired about a decade ago, but, at the time, the country’s RES sector was too small to make such plans feasible.

New wind farms offering a total capacity of 727.5 MW were connected to Greece’s grid last year, a record-level performance for the country.

 

Electromobility, home energy efficiency upgrade subsidies in pipeline

The environment, transport and finance ministries are scheduled to sign a joint ministerial decision tomorrow for a subsidy program supporting electromobility purchases.

Once the joint ministerial decision is published in the government gazette, interested parties will be able to proceed with electric vehicle purchases and apply for subsidies by lodging related invoice information onto an online platform as soon as it is launched, approximately in mid-August.

Tomorrow’s joint ministerial decision will provide the program’s full details, including the procedure and eligibility criteria.

The program is expected to be divided into three categories for private owners, taxi drivers and companies. 

The package will offer subsidies of up to 6,000 euros for electric car purchases by private owners, plus additional bonuses if these purchases are combined with withdrawals of old vehicles.

Taxi drivers will be offered subsidies of up to 8,000 euros plus 2,500 euros for compulsory withdrawals of old taxis.

Companies will be offered subsidies of 5,500 euros for each of up to three electric car purchases. 

Besides the electromobility subsidy support program, the energy ministry is also preparing an updated Saving at Home package for energy efficiency upgrades of existing buildings. An initial guide is expected to be released next week.

The new Saving at Home program will offer subsidies for RES generation and storage, electric vehicle recharging stations, as well as smart home energy management systems.

Plans submitted will need to promise property energy efficiency lifts by at least three categories in order to be eligible.

Previous Saving at Home subsidy programs were limited to casing, doors, windows and heating-cooling systems, including insulation.

Over €500m secured for new energy efficiency upgrades fund

Greece has secured over 500 million euros for a third “Saving at Home” subsidy program promoting energy efficiency upgrades of homes. This amount will stem from a sum of 32 billion euros allotted to Greece through the EU’s new post-coronavirus recovery package, energypress sources have informed.

The new program, to offer generous incentives to medium and high-income earners, will be set an objective to annually upgrade 60,000 homes into smart homes. This target could be raised to 80,000 homes buildings, according to some sources.

Smart energy management systems, electric vehicle recharging units and roof-mounted solar modules are among the projects to be eligible for subsidized funding through the new third round of the Saving at Home program, to be officially announced within the next few days ahead of a September launch.

The third Saving at Home program is expected to be followed by a long series of new-generation programs to become available from 2021 over a three-year period as part of a national strategy, now being shaped, to be funded by Greece’s 32 billion-euro share of the EU post-coronavirus recovery package.

According to energy ministry estimates, annual sums of at least 750 million euros are expected to be injected into smart home upgrades between 2021 and 2023, project activity that should reach a sum of between 2 and 2.5 billion euros.

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.

 

‘Energy ministry policies crucial in effort to revitalize economy’

The energy ministry’s policies promise to play a pivotal role in the challenge faced by the government to revitalize the national economy following lockdown, energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has noted in an article featuring in GREEK ENERGY 2020, the energypress team’s latest annual publication covering the Greek energy sector.

Action is already being taken by the ministry through a decisive energy-sector agenda that aims for growth and is fully aligned with the European Green Deal, now a key economic growth tool throughout Europe, the minister notes.

New financial tools such as an EU recovery fund, worth 750 billion euros, according to a European Commission proposal, are designed to help the EU achieve its goal of transition towards a zero-emission economy through support for the gradual elimination of fossil-fuel dependence, RES growth and energy savings, the minister writes.

Greece is ready to make the most of this EU support package, effectively an additional NSRF funding program for the country promising capital worth around 32 billion euros, in order to achieve sustainable green-energy growth, according to Hatzidakis.

Besides decarbonization and RES development, other aspects incorporated into the energy ministry’s wider plan include:  electromobility growth; a third Saving at Home subsidy program for domestic energy-efficiency upgrades; reforms for greater competition, transparency and more attractive price offers in the energy market; reduced industrial energy costs; and energy-sector privatizations, the minister notes.

 

New EU support plan to boost energy-sector investments

The decarbonization plan, a third round of the Saving at Home subsidy program for energy efficiency upgrades at buildings, the electric vehicle market growth effort and renewable energy-hydrogen development are seen capturing the lion’s share of energy-sector funds expected to be made available to the country through a wider European Commission support package proposal entitling Greece to 32 billion euros, plus funds from the new National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) covering 2021 to 2027.

Over ten billion euros could end up being absorbed for investments in these four sub-sectors, according to enerypress sources.

The energy ministry, taking this prospective influx into account, is now shaping preliminary energy-sector plans to comprise part of a wider government plan.

An upcoming series of energy-sector privatizations are being attached to these plans as the increasing importance of energy as a growth tool promises to intensify Greek and foreign investment interest.

According to latest estimates, the amount Greece will be entitled to through the European Commission’s Just Transition Fund, designed to support regions impacted by the EU’s decarbonization policy, now stands at 1.7 billion euros. The new Brussels support package could more-than-triple this amount, according to some early estimates.

Also, the third round of the Saving at Home energy efficiency upgrade program, estimated at 350 billion euros, could now end up reaching a level of about one billion euros as a result of the new Brussels support plan.

 

Energy upgrade subsidies of €350-400m expected in autumn

A third round of the “Saving at Home” subsidy program, offering property owners support for energy efficiency upgrades, will make available a sum of between 350 and 400 million euros, energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has indicated.

The subsidy program’s next round is expected to be launched in autumn, the minister noted, adding that the aim is to take its tally to one billion euros by the end of the year from the current total of between 600 and 650 million euros.

The program’s third round will be the final round to offer interested parties financial support through a combination of subsidies and interest-free loans.

Subsidy levels and income criteria are expected to be revised as the energy ministry wants to broaden the participation of households on average income levels, sources informed.

Under its existing format, the “Saving at Home” subsidy program divides eligible parties into seven categories, depending on income level, the highest category offering a 70 percent subsidy rate to lower-end income households.

At the other end, individuals with income levels of more than 35,000 euros per annum or households tallying family incomes of over 45,000 euros do not qualify for subsidies but are eligible for interest-free loans under the existing system.

The preceding second round of the “Saving at Home” program was offered last September.

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.

 

 

New energy saving subsidy program for aggregators

The energy ministry is working on a new energy efficiency subsidy program for homes and businesses to be offered alongside a new round of the ‘Saving At Home’ program, scheduled to be launched in June.

Unlike the ‘Saving At Home’ subsidy program, the new energy efficiency program will be based on a competitive procedure whose aim will be to maximize energy cost savings per euro in subsidized support, energypress sources informed.

Aggregators – major-scale construction firms or enterprises specializing in energy efficiency technologies – will be able to participate in descending-price auctions. The winning bidder will then reach out to households and businesses and take on the task of maximizing energy cost savings for eligible parties through a range of options.

A total of 36 million euros is available for the prospective program. A fraction of this amount is planned to be offered within 2019 for a pilot program intended to spot and correct any problems ahead of a full-scale launch.

The overall effort remains at a preliminary stage. One of a variety of competitive procedures that have already been implemented in other parts of Europe will be picked after these are fully surveyed.

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.

 

 

 

 

‘Saving at Home’ subsidies platform still malfunctioning

An electronic platform launched for a follow-up “Saving at Home” program, offering a new round of subsidies to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, is continuing to malfunction following a recent crash prompted by a rush of applications.

The energy ministry-hosted platform (exoikonomisi.ypen.gr) was relaunched three days ago but its access has been patchy, at best.

Last night, an energy ministry announcement was uploaded onto the platform noting the website would remain closed until 8am today. It was still closed at this time and a new announcement postponing the opening time by two hours was uploaded. The platform eventually opened but its inconsistency has yet to convince that the technical problems are over.

It is believed that a swelling number of interested parties, in the thousands, have struggled to enter the platform since Monday’s launch. A total of 17,500 applications were submitted by yesterday, according to an energy ministry announcement.

A main opposition New Democracy party MP, Kostas Skrekas, stressing the “Saving at Home” program has been delayed by three years and postponed three times, demanded a public apology from energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and assurances that the platform’s technical issues have been resolved.

According to the ministry, the program’s budget is worth 250 million euros and can cover approximately 40,000 applications.

Following the platform’s initial crash, the energy ministry decided to geographically divide the application dates, eginning with of east Macedonia, Thrace, central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, and western Greece three days ago.

As of March 26, the platform is planned to open for households in the Peloponnese, central Greece, west Macedonia, the Ionian Sea islands, north Aegean islands and Crete. An April 2 starting date has been set for applicants from the wider Athens area and southern Aegean.

 

Upgrade funds suffice, ministry assures after platform crash

Responding to the collapse of an electronic platform set up for a follow-up “Saving at Home” program offering subsidies to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, the energy ministry has promised the program possesses enough funds for all in an effort to cut back on the rush of applications that prompted the crash to further delay the platform’s launch.

According to the energy ministry, 1.5 million attempts were made within a few hours to enter the electronic platform. Many of these attempts are believed to have been made by agencies representing groups of customers.

The ministry, in an announcement, promised that more funds would be injected into the program if needed. At present, 17,700 households possess energy efficiency certification, needed for eligibility, well under the 40,000 that may be serviced by the 250 million euros currently available, the ministry noted.

The launch of the electronic platform, donated to the energy ministry by the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), has been severely delayed.

Besides assuring interested parties that the subsidy program’s funds more than cover demand, the energy ministry has now geographically divided application dates.

This coming Monday, when officials will once again attempt to launch the electronic platform, applications will be limited to households in the regions of east Macedonia, Thrace, central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, and western Greece. As of March 26, the platform will be open for households in the Peloponnese, central Greece, west Macedonia, the Ionian Sea islands, north Agean islands and Crete. Applicants in the wider Athens area and southern Aegean will be able to submit applications as of April 2.

 

Bank association donates IS for new ‘Saving at Home’ program

The Hellenic Bank Association (HBA) has donated to the energy ministry a comprehensive information system to be used as an electronic platform for a follow-up “Saving at Home” program offering subsidies to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and the bank association’s head official Nikos Karamouzis signed a related agreement earlier today.

Based on the agreement, banks will gradually be linked to the information system as of February 15. This procedure is expected to be completed by the end of the month when households interested in subsidy support for energy efficiency upgrades will be able to begin submitting applications.

A joint ministerial decision launching the new “Saving at Home” program is expected to be signed within the next few days.

Besides developing and providing the information system, the banking association will also offer related maintenance services for a year, according to the service level agreement (SLA) signed with the energy ministry. The donation’s value is estimated at 251,000 euros.

Unlike its precursor, the follow-up “Saving at Home” subsidy program will enable interested parties to submit applications electronically.

 

‘Saving at Home’ applications to be submitted online

An imminent follow-up “Saving at Home” program offering subsidized funds to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, provided to cover excess demand generated by an initial program staged last summer, has been divided into seven categories offering gradually increasing subsidies, ranging from 25 t0 60 percent, depending on income levels.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and Alternate Economy and Development Minister Alexis Haritsis have co-signed a joint ministerial decision that is expected to activate the follow-up subsidy program within the next few days.

Individuals with annual income levels of up to 10,000 euros and families with total incomes of up to 20,000 euros will be entitled to subsidies representing 60 percent of their domestic energy efficiency upgrade costs. This is the new program’s highest subsidy rate offered.

Individuals with incomes ranging between 10,001 euros and 15,000 euros and families with total incomes of between 20,001 euros and 25,000 euros will be entitled to subsidies covering 50 percent of their energy efficiency upgrades.

For individual incomes of 15,001 euros to 20,000 euros and family incomes between 25,001 euros and 30,000 euros the subsidy rate has been set at 40 percent.

It is 35 percent for individual incomes of 20,001 euros to 25,000 euros and family incomes between 30,001 euros and 35,000 euros.

Individual incomes of 25,001 euros to 30,000 euros and family incomes between 35,001 euros and 40,000 euros the subsidy rate has been set at 30 percent.

The subsidy is 25 percent for individual incomes of 30,001 euros to 35,000 euros and family incomes between 40,001 euros and 45,000 euros.

Finally, applicants with individual incomes of 35,001 euros to 40,000 euros and family incomes between 45,001 euros and 50,000 euro will not be entitled to subsidies for the energy efficiency upgrades but can apply for interest-free bank loans.

Loans of up to 25,000 euros payable within four to six years will be offered as part of the program. Applications for the new “Saving at Home” program will be submitted to an online platform.

The program is expected to contribute to the government’s efforts aiming to revive the country’s subdued building sector and also help the economy transform into one producing less greenhouse emissions and offering lower energy costs for citizens, especially low-income groups.

The previous program covered over 8,500 successful applicants who received a total of 75 million euros for energy efficiency upgrades. Over 6,000 applicants are expected to benefit from the follow-up program, offering an estimated 61 million euros. The new program will bring the total number of beneficiaries to approximately 15,000 in total.

 

Over 6,000 homes to gain from new ‘Saving at Home’ plan

A follow-up “Saving at Home” program offering subsidized funds to property owners for domestic energy efficiency upgrades will be launched next week to cover excess demand generated by an initial program staged last summer.

The previous program covered over 8,500 successful applicants who received a total of 75 million euros for energy efficiency upgrades. Over 6,000 applicants are expected to benefit from the follow-up program, offering an estimated 61 million euros. The new program will bring the total number of beneficiaries to approximately 15,000 in total.

Many applications that had been submitted for the initial “Saving at Home” program remained unprocessed as a result of the strong demand that took the initiative beyond its funding limits.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and Alternate Economy and Development Minister Alexis Haritsis have co-signed a joint ministerial decision that activates the follow-up subsidy program.

The decision is expected to contribute to efforts aiming to revive the country’s subdued building sector and also help the economy adjust for less greenhouse emissions and lower energy costs for citizens, especially low-income groups.