articles | 03 June 2021

Cypriots set sights on €35m home energy upgrades

More than 2,000 households in Cyprus have applied to benefit from a €35 million fund for home energy efficiency upgrades, with the Energy Ministry considering launching a second round of the same scheme.

The scheme was launched on March 9 to encourage homeowners to tap into the €30 million fund to invest, but record demand pressured the ministry to add another €5 million to the budget.

The ministry said the initial €30 million was exhausted within the first three months, with the additional €5 million also quickly running out within days.

The ministry said homeowners were encouraged by estimates that “upgrading the energy efficiency of homes, can lead to energy savings of more than 60%, with corresponding annual savings in the family budget.”

It added that the “Save-Upgrade Homes” scheme, launched with the aim of fully upgrading existing homes, “is a very generous project, which gives citizens the opportunity to harmonise their homes with the current trends of green growth, receiving state help”.

The scheme was drawn up within the framework of an EU directive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. The initiative also aims to strengthen energy security, competitiveness and sustainability of European households and businesses.

Today, homes and buildings are at the heart of energy efficiency policy#ies as they are responsible for almost 40% of energy consumption in the EU. This directive aims to transform older buildings into energy-efficient homes, thus contributing to a cleaner environment.

Eligible projects

The scheme covers the following upgrades:

Thermal Insulation

Replacement of frames

Installation of shading systems

Installation or replacement of solar panels

Installation or replacement of photovoltaics

Installation or replacement of air conditioners

Installation or replacement of solar energy storage batteries

Under the scheme, no offers, invoices, and receipts will be requested. For each expenditure, there will be a predetermined eligible cost. This means a much more rapid examination of applications.

According to the ministry, the state will pitch in with up to 60% of expenditure on selected projects, and 80% in cases of homeowners belonging to vulnerable groups, within the framework of the state’s welfare policies.

The energy ministry said that a second scheme for homeowners worth €35 million will get underway once it has selected the final projects to be financed, taking the total expenditure on improving home energy efficiency to €70 million.

The ministry also said that in the second quarter of 2022, a similar scheme for businesses, local authorities, municipalities and the wider public sector will be announced, with a total budget of €40 million, an amount that will derive from the Recovery and Sustainability Fund.

Furthermore, people who are interested in installing thermal insulation, or photovoltaics, can take advantage of two separate schemes promoted by the ministry, worth €7.7 million and will cover some 5,500 homes.

The said schemes will be running until the end of the year.

Source: Financial Mirror

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