Tax break for energy-efficiency upgrades viewed favorably

The coalition is believed to be preparing a package of tax breaks for energy-efficiency upgrade work to home property, a move that is expected to lead to energy savings for consumers while also providing needed impetus to building activity, currently stagnant.

Earlier this week, Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis proposed the implementation of tax breaks for expenses of up to 15,000 euros, during a meeting with Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis. Sources said the Finance Ministry has responded favorably to the proposal.

The tax breaks could provide additional life to the “Saving at Home” buildings energy upgrade program, initially launched to cover the 2007-2013 period as part of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), an EU funding program. Maniatis said his ministry was currently seeking 400 million euros to finance the program’s extension, from 2014 to 2020.

In practical terms, the tax break measure’s benefits will be confined to home owners with existing savings that can be spent on energy-efficiency upgrade work to their respective properties.

The measure’s implementation would provide the local building sector a needed boost, as, according to his estimates, 70 percent of materials and fittings to be used in the energy-efficiency upgrades would be locally produced.